Variation in Trauma Admission During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Major Trauma Unit - An Observational Study
Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research
ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT Purpose: Following the World Health Organization declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic, there was a severe impact on UK trauma provision. Our aim in this paper was to examine the effect of alteration in working patterns and 'lockdown' on trauma and orthopaedic referral and management in a major trauma centre. Methods: All trauma referrals to the Liverpool Orthopaedic and Trauma Service were analysed over a 33-week period, divided into 'Pre-lockdown', 'Lockdown', and
... own', and 'Postlockdown'. Results: 1661 orthopaedic trauma operations were undertaken -967 in 'prelockdown', 193 in 'lockdown' and 501 in 'post-lockdown'. An average weekly reduction in numbers of referrals to virtual fracture clinic and trauma cases undergoing surgery was observed, with numbers in virtual fracture clinic and in trauma cases undergoing surgery falling by similar amounts from prelockdown to lockdown (51.71% drop in virtual fracture clinic referrals and 54.38% reduction in trauma cases undergoing surgery). Hip fractures occupied significantly more theatre time compared to other trauma in the lockdown period. Post-lockdown, there was a rebound effect in the trauma numbers of lower limb surgery (excluding hip) and central surgery. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown resulted in a significant change in practice and a reduction in both the presenting trauma numbers and those undergoing surgery in our trauma and orthopaedic department. The effect of the lockdown on trauma numbers has had a major mitigating effect on the consequences of rationing of resources.