The daily distributions of annual mortality for varying numbers of years between 1965 and 1975 were investigated in three geriatric hospitals and three general hospitals in the Montreal area. Nearly all the observed mortality distributions were found to mimic the classical Poisson distribution, with little departure. In two of the larger hospitals, the matching of the daily mortality distributions with their Poisson models met stringent statistical criteria. In one of them it was even possible to predict the expected mortality frequencies merely from a knowledge of the annual totals. The remaining four hospitals, which included the three geriatric institutions, also exhibited mortalities regarded as highly suggestive of Poisson distributions, although in one of the geriatric hospitals the mortality distribution tended to be somewhat erratic in this respect.
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