The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trauma Presentations in a Level One Trauma Center

Aditya K. Devarakonda, Chase J. Wehrle, Fairouz L. Chibane, Peter D. Drevets, Elizabeth D. Fox, Andrew G. Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Over 28 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported to date, resulting in over 900 000 deaths. With an increase in awareness regarding the virus, the behavior of general population has changed dramatically. As activities such as driving and hospital presentation patterns have changed, our study aimed to assess the differences in trauma case variables before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Trauma data for the period of March 1st-June 15th were compared for the years 2015-2019 (pre-COVID) and 2020 (COVID). The data were analyzed across the following categories: injury severity score, injury mechanism, motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) vs. other blunt injuries, alcohol involvement, and length of hospital stay. Results: The median injury severity score pre-COVID and during COVID was 9, representing no change. There was no difference in overall distribution of mechanism of injury; however, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of MVCs pre-COVID (36.39%) vs. COVID (29.6%, P <.05). Alcohol was significantly more likely to be involved in trauma during COVID-19 (P <.05). The mean hospital stay increased from 3.87-5.4 days during COVID-19 (P <.05). Discussion: We saw similar results to prior studies in terms of there being no change in trauma severity. Our observation that motor vehicle collisions have decreased is consistent with current data showing decreased use of motor vehicles during the pandemic. We also observed an increase in alcohol-related cases which are consistent with the reported changes in alcohol consumption since the pandemic began.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-689
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Volume87
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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