The "July phenomenon" and the care of the severely injured patient: fact or fiction?

J A Claridge, A M Schulman, R G Sawyer, A Ghezel-Ayagh, J S Young
Surgery 2001, 130 (2): 346-53

BACKGROUND: The "July phenomenon," a common belief in medical academia, refers to purported errors, inefficiency, and negative outcomes during the summertime transition of the house staff. We hypothesized that care in a trauma service is consistent throughout the year and that the July phenomenon therefore is a myth.

METHODS: The records of adults admitted to a trauma service between July 1994 and September 1999 were evaluated. The care of and outcomes for patients admitted in July and August were compared with those of patients admitted in April and May.

RESULTS: Nine hundred seventeen patients were evaluated over 5 years. Patients were well matched by the Injury Severity Score, the Glasgow Coma Score, by mechanism, and by survival probability. Patients admitted in the spring were significantly older, by a mean of 5.1 years. Length of stay and intensive care unit stay were similar. Emergency department times were similar, as were resuscitation times, infection rates, and hospital costs. The mortality of patients was similar between the 2 times.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no evidence of an increase in negative outcomes early in the academic year compared with the end of the academic year. We believe that a systematic approach to the diagnosis, resuscitation, and treatment of trauma prevented a July phenomenon.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"