Mind On The Moon | Carson Tahoe Health

Myth Busting: Emergency Hospital Visits Change With A Full Moon

2020 has been … unique to say the least. We have all collectively faced many challenges throughout this turbulent and seemingly never-ending year. We know it may be tough to remember, but we had welcomed this new decade full of excitement as many major holidays were expected to fall on either a Friday or a Saturday. Not only that, but this year’s spooky season presents us with a rare ‘blue’ moon (or the second full moon in one calendar month). You guessed it, the ‘blue’ moon happens to be on October 31st, all Hallows Eve.

So whether you’re superstitious, a ‘little stitious’ (Hello “The Office” fans!), or not superstitious at all, many people make the correlation between a series of odd occurrences and a full moon. Some people even believe that a full moon is to blame for an increase in visits to emergency rooms. So, in honor of this unique Halloween upon us, we decided to do our own digging to find out if the latter statement is true.


Rapid Fire Q & A with CTH’s Lantern Award winning Dustin Bass, Director of Emergency and Urgent Care Services:

CTH: Are you superstitious?

DB: Just a little. 

CTH: How do Emergency Room cases change during a full moon?

DB: Statistically, they don’t change, but after being an ED Nurse for over 10 years, there’s something to be said about the various types of complaints that present when the moon gets full.

CTH: How are you feeling about a full moon (a ‘blue’ moon) falling on Halloween this year?

DB: It sounds like a time to have lots of candy and pizza for the nursing staff.

CTH: Is there anything else you would like to add about full moons and ER cases?

DB: “A 2011 study published in the World Journal of Surgery found that more than 40 percent of medical staff believe that lunar phases can affect human behavior, even though most studies find no direct correlation between the full moon and hospital admission rates.” Full moon or not we are here for you 24/7 365 should you encounter a medical emergency of any type!

Well, there you have it folks! May this rumor ‘rest in peace.’ All jokes aside, with an “unprecedented” Halloween ahead of us, we encourage you and your family to make the most of this year’s festivities, while staying safe, wearing a mask (it can be scary), and keeping your distance. Celebrating something, really anything, can help keep spirits high.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out this Wall Street Journal article on full moons and ER visits. And in case you were wondering … according to USA Today, the last two full moons of 2020 will be:

Nov. 30th – Beaver moon and a penumbral lunar eclipse

Dec. 29th – Cold moon 

Mark your calendars, ‘planet’ out, because sooner or ‘lunar’ 2020 will have to rest.