AffiliationDepartment of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle,, Limerick. firstname.lastname@example.org
Orthopedic Procedures/economics/*statistics & numerical data
Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration
Trauma Centers/economics/*organization & administration/statistics & numerical
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CitationIr J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;180(3):679-82. Epub 2011 Feb 23.
JournalIrish journal of medical science
AbstractBACKGROUND: Climate change models predict increasing frequency of extreme weather. One of the challenges hospitals face is how to make sure they have adequate staffing at various times of the year. AIMS: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of this severe inclement weather on hospital admissions, operative workload and cost in the Irish setting. We hypothesised that there is a direct relationship between cold weather and workload in a regional orthopaedic trauma unit. METHODS: Trauma orthopaedic workload in a regional trauma unit was examined over 2 months between December 2009 and January 2010. This corresponded with a period of severe inclement weather. RESULTS: We identified a direct correlation between the drop in temperature and increase in workload, with a corresponding increase in demand on resources. CONCLUSIONS: Significant cost savings could be made if these injuries were prevented. While the information contained in this study is important in the context of resource planning and staffing of hospital trauma units, it also highlights the vulnerability of the Irish population to wintery weather.