Analysing the variation in volume and nature of trauma presentations during COVID-19 lockdown in Ireland

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Bone Jt Open. 2020 Nov 1;1(6):261-266. doi: 10.1302/2046-3758.16.BJO-2020-0040.R1. eCollection 2020 Jun.


AIMS: Europe has found itself at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, this has placed added strain onto healthcare systems internationally. It was feared that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could overrun the Irish healthcare system. As such, the Irish government opted to introduce a national lockdown on the 27 March 2020 in an attempt to stem the flow of admissions to hospitals. Similar lockdowns in the UK and New Zealand have resulted in reduced emergency department presentations and trauma admissions. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of the national lockdown on trauma presentations to a model-3 hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted. All emergency department presentations between 27 March 2019 to 27 April 2020 and 27 March 2020 to 27 April 2020 were cross-referenced against the National Integrated Medical Imaging System-Picture Archiving Communication System (NIMIS-PACS) radiology system to identify those with radiologically proven skeletal trauma. These patients were grouped according to sex, age, discharge outcome, mechanism of injury, and injury location.

RESULTS: A 21% decrease in radiologically proven trauma was observed on comparison with the same time-period last year. Additionally, a 40% reduction in trauma admissions was observed during the COVID-19 lockdown. A 60% reduction in sports-related injuries and road traffic accident-related injuries was noted during the national lockdown. However, a 17% increase was observed in patients sustaining trauma because of domestic accidents.

CONCLUSION: Variation was observed in both the volume and nature of trauma presentations during the COVID-19 lockdown. As would be expected, a reduction was seen in the number of injuries resulting from outdoor activities. Interestingly, increased rates of domestic injuries were seen during this period which could represent an unintended consequence of the prolonged period of lockdown.Cite this article: Bone Joint Open 2020;1-6:261-266.

PMID:33215112 | PMC:PMC7659695 | DOI:10.1302/2046-3758.16.BJO-2020-0040.R1