The “Diana effect”

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7146.1750b (Published 06 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1750

Hospital experienced a decrease in number of admissions for trauma

  1. Rhidian Morgan-Jones, Senior orthopaedic registrar,
  2. Kevin Smith, Senior orthopaedic registrar,
  3. Peter Oakley, Consultant anaesthetist
  1. Department of General Practice, the Queen's University, Belfast BT9 7HR
  2. Affleck Centre, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh EH10 5HF

    EDITOR— The death of Diana, Princess of Wales has been followed by an unprecedented public and media response. Shevlin et al showed that her death and subsequent funeral have had a profound psychological impact on the public.1Furthermore, many people have consulted their general practitioners for depression linked to the princess's death.2

    It is therefore perhaps surprising that in contrast to the increased number of consultations for psychological problems the number of admissions for trauma at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary has fallen by 10% since Diana's death. Perhaps more poignantly (figure) the number of admissions of patients with injuries greater than 15 on the injury severity score has fallen.This trend continued for three months; only in December did numbers start to return to previous values. Most of the patients are injured in road traffic accidents, and it would be tempting to imply a —causal—albeit probably—subliminal—association with driving habits after the tragic events in Paris.

    Numbers of admissions for trauma (injury severity score 15), 1995-7

    It is too soon to judge whether the tragic manner of Princess Diana's death will have …

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