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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21

The association between birthdays and medical emergencies

Department of Orthopaedics, Pilgrim Hospital, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Boston, PE21 9QS, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Harish Kurup
Pilgrim Hospital, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Boston, PE21 9QS
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_6_16

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Background: Not many studies have examined the risk of emergency medical attendance during stressful life events or special days such as birthdays. This study looked at whether patients had a higher than normal chance of attending the emergency departments around their birthdays compared to the rest of the year. Methods: Patient attendance data were collected from our accident and emergency department from April 2013 to March 2014. The birthday of individual patients was matched with their date of attendance to find out the number of patients attending emergency department on and around their birthdays. Chi-square test and binominal distribution test were used to compare birthday attendances with those occurring at other times of the year. Results: A total of 1028 patients attended within the 7 days starting from their birthday (expected number 49, 211/52 = 946). This was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.0071). Road traffic accidents were more frequent on both the birthday week and the week after birthday. Medical emergencies, injury in a public place, 19–35 years age group and male patients showed similarly significant association but for the week after birthday only. Conclusions: People are more likely to present to emergency departments in the week starting from their birthday than any other week of the year. There is scope for public health initiatives such as sending health education information in the form of a birthday card to raise awareness of this risk.

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