Comparison of Poisson and Bernoulli spatial cluster analyses of pediatric injuries in a fire district

Craig R. Warden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: With limited resources available, injury prevention efforts need to be targeted both geographically and to specific populations. As part of a pediatric injury prevention project, data was obtained on all pediatric medical and injury incidents in a fire district to evaluate geographical clustering of pediatric injuries. This will be the first step in attempting to prevent these injuries with specific interventions depending on locations and mechanisms. Results: There were a total of 4803 incidents involving patients less than 15 years of age that the fire district responded to during 2001-2005 of which 1997 were categorized as injuries and 2806 as medical calls. The two cohorts (injured versus medical) differed in age distribution (7.7 ± 4.4 years versus 5.4 ± 4.8 years, p < 0.001) and location type of incident (school or church 12% versus 15%, multifamily residence 22% versus 13%, single family residence 51% versus 28%, sport, park or recreational facility 3% versus 8%, public building 8% versus 7%, and street or road 3% versus 30%, respectively, p < 0.001). Using the medical incident locations as controls, there was no significant clustering for environmental or assault injuries using the Bernoulli method while there were four significant clusters for all injury mechanisms combined, 13 clusters for motor vehicle collisions, one for falls, and two for pedestrian or bicycle injuries. Using the Poisson cluster method on incidence rates by census tract identified four clusters for all injuries, three for motor vehicle collisions, four for fall injuries, and one each for environmental and assault injuries. The two detection methods shared a minority of overlapping geographical clusters. Conclusion: Significant clustering occurs overall for all injury mechanisms combined and for each mechanism depending on the cluster detection method used. There was some overlap in geographic clusters identified by both methods. The Bernoulli method allows more focused cluster mapping and evaluation since it directly uses location data. Once clusters are found, interventions can be targeted to specific geographic locations, location types, ages of victims, and mechanisms of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalInternational Journal of Health Geographics
StatePublished - Sep 22 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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