Superstition and Post-Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage
Article first published online: 3 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2004 The Triological Society
Volume 114, Issue 11, pages 2031–2033, November 2004
How to Cite
Kumar, V. V., Kumar, N. V. and Isaacson, G. (2004), Superstition and Post-Tonsillectomy Hemorrhage. The Laryngoscope, 114: 2031–2033. doi: 10.1097/01.mlg.0000147942.82626.1c
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 3 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 APR 2004
- Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage;
- Friday the 13th;
- full moon
Objectives/Hypothesis: The objective was to determine whether post-tonsillectomy hemorrhages occur more frequently in redheaded children, in patterns of threes, on Friday-the-13th days, or with the full moon.
Study Design: Case-control analysis.
Methods: The authors performed multiple statistical analyses of all children undergoing tonsillectomy at Temple University Children's Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA) during a 29-month period. Children readmitted to the hospital with or without surgical control of bleeding were compared with children who did not bleed. Relation of post-tonsillectomy hemorrhages to the phase of the moon was evaluated using a standard normal deviate. The frequency of surgery performed on Friday-the-13th days was compared with a differently dated Friday chosen at random. Clusters of three hemorrhages in a 7-day period were recorded. Families of children were contacted and asked whether their child had red hair. A χ2 analysis compared redheaded and non-redheaded tonsillectomy patients.
Results: Twenty-eight of 589 tonsillectomy cases performed required readmission for bleeding events. Twenty tonsillectomies occurred on a full-moon day, resulting in one bleeding event. One cluster of three post-tonsillectomy hemorrhages occurred in a 7-day period. Four of the children who bled had red hair. Two tonsillectomies occurred on Friday the 13th, with no associated hemorrhage. Statistical analysis revealed a random pattern to post-tonsillectomy hemorrhage.
Conclusion: Post-tonsillectomy hemorrhages do not occur in clusters of three and are not more frequent with the full moon or on Friday the 13th. The bleeding rate among children with red hair is similar to that of non-redheaded children.