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clinmed/2002080003v1 (September 10, 2002)
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Superstitions and emergencies in the city.
Facts and myths about Fridays, Good Fridays,
the number 13 and the phases of the moon
in the Swiss capital
Aristomenis Exadaktylos, Guido Sclabas, Stephan Eggli, Jürg Lutherbacher, and Heinz Zimmermann
Purpose—To examine the superstitious believes of having an increased risk for accident on the rare occasion of Full moon, Friday 13th of October 2000 and Good Friday, 13th of April, 2001, compared to full moon days and nights between January 2000 and April 2001 and compared to any day without a full moon. Historic and scientific review of superstition.
Design—Retrospective analysis of Emergency Unit data using new ER software.
Subjects—Minor and moderate trauma, multiply injured patients
Results—Compared to the previous eight full moon shifts of the year 2000 and 2001, we noticed no significant increase in trauma- emergencies. Fewer trauma patients were seen on Friday the 13th in October 2000 compared to other full moon days and nights. On Good Friday 13th 2001 the number of admitted patients was slightly but not significantly increased.
Conclusion— It seems that full moons, Friday the 13th and a full moon and Good Friday the 13th in defiance of all superstitious beliefs, are not associated with a higher risk for injury.