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Weather factors associated with paediatric croup presentations to an Australian emergency department
  1. Paul R T Atkinson1,
  2. Adrian A Boyle2,
  3. Richard S P Lennon3
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Saint John Regional Hospital, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
  2. 2Emergency Department, Cambridge University Hospitals, Addenbrooke's Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
  3. 3Pediatric Emergency Department, Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul R T Atkinson, Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Saint John Regional Hospital, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada E2L 3L6; Paul.Atkinson{at}dal.ca

Abstract

We examined if croup presentations to the emergency department (ED) were associated with weather changes in a warm temperate climate. We collected data on all 729 cases with an ED discharge or admission diagnosis of croup over a 798 day time period. We obtained detailed climatic records from the New South Wales Meteorological Office for the same time period. Only one daily variable, ground temperature at 9:00, was significantly associated with the number of croup attendances (linear regression −0.2062; 95% CI −0.272 to −0.138). There was a stronger correlation (−0.426; 95% CI −0.684 to −0.072) between the calculated mean monthly temperature and the monthly number of croup admissions. Even in this milder climate, croup is associated with cooler weather. We are unable to conclude that hospital attendances for croup are caused by changes in temperature alone, as other factors such as the prevalence of viral illness also follow a seasonal, and therefore, temperature-related pattern.

  • emergency departments
  • environmental medicine
  • paediatric emergency med
  • respiratory

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