Background: Popular emergency room wisdom touts higher temperatures, snowfall, weekends, and evenings as variables that increase trauma admissions. This study analyzed the possible correlation between trauma admissions and specific weather variables, and between trauma admissions and time of day or season.
Methods: Trauma admission data from a Level I trauma center database from July 1, 1996 to January 31, 2002 was downloaded and linked with local weather data from the Archives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, and then analyzed.
Results: There were 8,269 trauma admissions over a total of 48,984 hours for an average of one admission every 6 hours. Daily high temperature and precipitation were valid predictors of trauma admission volume, with a 5.25% increase in hourly incidents for each 10-degree difference in temperature, and a 60% to 78% increase in the incident rate for each inch of precipitation in the previous 3 hours.
Conclusions: Weather and seasonal variations affect admissions at a Level I trauma center. Data from this study could be useful for determining staffing requirements and resource allocation.