Norfolk doctor studies admissions on Friday the 13ths

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by Lucy Bustamante

WVEC.com

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 12 at 6:41 PM

NORFOLK -- You've probably heard people say that full moons lead to baby booms! But what does Friday the 13th equal?  More car accidents, maybe?
 
EVMS Assistant Professor and head of Sentara's Norfolk General Emergency Department, Dr. Bruce Lo, studied whether there was an increase in admissions to the emergency room on Friday the 13th.
 
Dr. Lo compared emergency room visits at six different hospitals over a seven-year period. He started on November 13, 2002. He counted 13 "Friday the 13th's", which put him at an end date of December 13th, 2009.
 
He studied more than 49,000 cases of the unluckiest conditions like car accidents, penetration wounds, and general admissions.
 
His conclusion? Nope. No rise in emergency room visits compared to any other Friday in the month.

He says, "I'm not very superstitious at all, so one of the goals in doing the study was to really prove that there really wasn't much of a difference."
 
Dr. Lo's study was published this month in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. There was a slight statistical increase in the number of penetration wounds, but Dr. Lo says not enough to note clinically.
 
It's a bummer to his colleagues, as he says that medical personnel are usually very superstitious, despite their scientific, anti-supernatural, training.
 
He says, "They said 'Dr. Lo, we hear what you're saying, but we still think there are some other factors that are out there.'"
 
 

 

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