Answering the myth: use of emergency services on Friday the 13th


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Abstract

ObjectiveThe aim of the study was to evaluate the risk of Friday the 13th on hospital admission rates and emergency department (ED) visits.MethodsThis was a retrospective chart review of all ED visits on Friday the 13th from November 13, 2002, to December 13, 2009, from 6 hospital-based EDs. Thirteen unlikely conditions were evaluated as well as total ED volumes. As a control, the Friday before and after and the month before and after were used. Χ2 Analysis and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used for each variable, as appropriate.ResultsA total of 49 094 patient encounters were evaluated. Average ED visits for Friday the 13th were not increased compared with the Friday before and after and the month before. However, compared with the month after, there were fewer ED visits on Friday the 13th (150.1 vs 134.7, P = .011). Of the 13 categories evaluated, only penetrating trauma was noted to have an increase risk associated with Friday the 13th (odds ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-2.61). No other category was noted to have an increase risk on Friday the 13th compared with the control dates.ConclusionsAlthough the fear of Friday the 13th may exist, there is no worry that an increase in volume occurs on Friday the 13th compared with the other days studies. Of 13 different conditions evaluated, only penetrating traumas were seen more often on Friday the 13th. For those providers who work in the ED, working on Friday the 13th should not be any different than any other day.

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