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Hospital admissions linked to weather

25th November 2010

New research has highlighted when rises in hospital treatment is likely to occur.

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A study has shown that warm weather causes a rise in children suffering serious injuries and needing hospital treatment while the number of adults admitted rises during cold spells.

Writing in the Emergency Medicine Journal, researchers noted that for every 5C rise in maximum daytime temperature the number of children admitted to trauma units rises by 10%.

They found a direct link with children playing outside and riding bikes, climbing trees or falling in ponds or swimming pools.

Lighter summer evenings saw a 2% rise in child admission for every extra two hours of daylight.

However, for every 5C drop in minimum daily temperatures adult admissions for serious injury rose by more than 3%, while snow leads to an 8% rise.

The data was collected from 21 emergency care units across England, belonging to the Trauma Audit and research Network (TARN), between 1996 and 2006 by researchers from University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire.

Researcher Giles Pattison, from the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire, said the study suggests the UK is not so well prepared for winter months while in the mid west of America, where temperatures can fall dramatically, the number of hospital admissions actually goes down.

He said: “If it snows there, there’s a siege mentality, people take a snow day, stay home and don’t go to work. Here, it's different. People go out to work, or they don't really know how to drive in the conditions and they get into accidents.”

 

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