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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 29(6); 2018 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2018;29(6): 603-615.
Effect of regional climatic conditions, air pollutants, and season on the occurrence and severity of injury in trauma patients
Young-Min Kim1 , Gyeong-Gyu Yu2 , Hyun-Jo Shin1 , Suk-Woo Lee1,2 , Jung-Soo Park3 , Hoon Kim1,2
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Cheongju, Korea
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungbuk National University School of Medicine, Cheongju, Korea
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
Correspondence  Hoon Kim ,Tel: 043-261-2847, Fax: 043-269-7810, Email: nichekh2000@chungbuk.ac.kr,
Received: May 10, 2018; Revised: August 21, 2018   Accepted: September 28, 2018.  Published online: December 31, 2018.
We analyzed the association between regional weather and temporal changes on the daily occurrence of trauma emergencies and their severity.
In this cross-sectional prospective study, we investigated daily atmospheric patterns in trauma episodes in 1,344 patients in Cheongju city, South Korea, from January 2016 to December 2016 and analyzed the association of trauma occurrence and Injury Severity Scores (ISS) with weather conditions on a daily scale.
The mean age of trauma patients was 53.0±23.8 years and average ISS was 9.0±2.0. Incidence of trauma was positively correlated with average temperature (r=0.512, P<0.001) and atmospheric pressure (r=0.332, P=0.010) and negatively correlated with air pollutants(particulate matter less than 2.5μm3 [PM2.5],r=-0.629,P<0.001; particulate matter less than 10 μm3 [PM10], r=-0.679, P<0.001). ISS was not significantly correlated with climate parameters and air pollutants, and variability was observed in the frequency and severity of trauma by time of day (highest occurrence, 16-20 pm; highest ISS, 4-8 am), day of the week (highest occurrence and highest ISS, Saturday), month of the year (highest occurrence, July; highest ISS, November), and season (highest incidence, summer; highest ISS, autumn).
The study shows a positive relationship between trauma occurrence and specific weather conditions, such as atmospheric temperature and pressure. There was a negative relationship between concentrations of PM2.5 or PM10, and trauma occurrence. However, no correlation was observed between weather conditions or the concentrations of air pollutants and ISS. In addition, seasonal, circaseptan, and circadian variations exist in trauma occurrence and severity. Thus, we suggest that evaluation of a larger, population-based data set is needed to further investigate and confirm these relationships.
Key words: Air pollutants; Weather; Injury severity score; Injuries
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