According to a study, daily precipitation and high temperatures are valid predictors of trauma admission volume. Researchers analyzed data on about 8,300 trauma patients admitted to a Louisville, Ky., level-one trauma center from July 1996 to January 2002, and correlated their findings with corresponding local weather data. They reported these findings:
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* 5.25% increase in hourly incidents for each 10-degree difference in temperature
* a 60% to 78% increase for each inch of precipitation in the previous 3 hours.
In press reports, the study authors said they were surprised to learn that wintry weather didn't seem to cause a surge of trauma-related admissions. They speculated that in Louisville, people tend to stay home when winter weather turns bad. The research was reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Chicago, Ill.