Characterization of injury at the Minnesota State Fair using geospatial information [abstract]
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Background: Geospatial information (GSI) is a tool often used in the fields of epidemiology and public health to track disease. It has been used in past studies to identify areas of high trauma volume. Geospatial analysis of mass gatherings has the potential to assist in the efficient deployment of EMS resources based on identification of areas with the highest EMS call density. The Minnesota State Fair (MSF) covers 320 acres and in 2015 had over 1.7 million attendees. Our primary aim was to perform a geospatial analysis of the injuries seen at the MSF using data collected by the MSF Safety Team. Our secondary aim was to identify clusters of trauma and further identify any unique characteristics of these areas. Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of the data collected by the MSF Safety Team for quality assurance purposes in 2015. Dates encompassed the duration of the MSF, August 27, 2015 to September 7, 2015. We included all traumatic injuries reported to the MSF Safety Team. Injuries were classified by the injury type. Data included patient age, mechanism of injury, time of day injury occurred, geographical location of injury, injury description and disposition. A free online tool called “Google Fusion” was used to identify areas of increased activity. Results: There were a total of 453 logged safety team reports at the MSF in 2015. Of these, 173 (38.2%) had a complaint related to a traumatic injury. The majority of these injuries were categorized as abrasion/contusion/laceration (54.9%). Using “Google Fusion” multiple clusters of increased injury incidence were identified. A cluster of traumatic injuries occurred at the “Kidway” and was presumed to represent a cluster of pediatric trauma patients. Another area of high injury density was the primary entrance/exit of the State Fair. Conclusions: GSI can provide predictive injury patterns which could be useful to planners of the MSF. Deployment of additional pediatric trauma equipment at the “Kidway” will occur in 2016 based on this data. GSI analyses of other large events may be useful as a tool for both pre-event planning and real-time operations in event medicine.