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Running Out of Gas but not Trauma Patients: The Effect of the Price of Gas on Trauma Admissions

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As fuel costs steadily rise and motor vehicle collisions continue to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, we examined the relationship between the price of gasoline and the rate of trauma admissions related to gasoline consumption (GRT). The National Trauma Registry of the American College of Surgeons data of a rural Level I trauma center were queried over 27 consecutive months to identify the rate of trauma admissions/month related to gas utilization compared with the number of nongasoline related trauma admissions, based on season and day of the week. The average price/gallon of regular gas in our region was obtained from the NorthCarolinaGasPrices.com database. A log linear model with a Poisson distribution was created. No significant association exists between the average price/gallon of gasoline and the GRT rate across the months, seasons, and weekday and weekend periods. As the price of gas continues to rise, the rate of rural GRT does not decrease. Over a longer period of time and with skyrocketing prices, this relationship may not hold true. These findings may also be explained by the rural area where limited alternative transportation opportunities exist and a trauma patient population participating in high risk behavior regardless of cost.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, East Carolina University/Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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