Impact on the Service Volume of a Single Hand Surgery Center during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period in Daegu
Archives of Hand and Microsurgery
Purpose: We investigated what changes occurred at single hand surgery center during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Daegu, Korea using patient data of 4 years (2018–2021).Methods: This is a single-center retrospective study of patients visiting our center during the COVID-19 pandemic for 4 years (January 22 to May 6). Service volumes (SVs) including the number of in/outpatient, emergency room, elective, and emergency surgery were analyzed. During the peak period of the
... 19 (February 24 to March 9, 2020), patient's demographics, injury mechanism, and place of injury of hand trauma were analyzed.Results: SVs were significantly reduced in 2020 as compared with other years. The SVs except for the number of emergency surgeries have recovered after 2 months from the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Daegu, Korea. At the peak period, the effect of COVID-19 was weak on emergency room-related SVs. In addition, a daily number of in/outpatients and elective surgeries had a statistically significant negative correlation with the number of COVID-19 confirmed (p<0.05). During the peak period, superficial laceration increased and finger and wrist fractures decreased. The number of cases occurring in workplace increased, however, occurring outside during daily life decreased.Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic greatly reduces service volume in our center. Thorough protective strategy from COVID-19 such as personal protective equipment was essential for early recovery of hospital functions during the pandemic. In addition, manpower for the emergency room must be preserved during the pandemic. The results of our study, which reported SVs through the pandemic will help maintain the function of hand surgery centers.