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Namryeol Kim 1 Article
The impact of COVID-19 on trauma patients and orthopedic trauma operations at a single focused training center for trauma in Korea
Wonseok Choi, Hanju Kim, Whee Sung Son, Seungyeob Sakong, Jun-Min Cho, Nak-Jun Choi, Tae-Wook Noh, Namryeol Kim, Jae-Woo Cho, Jong-Keon Oh
J Trauma Inj. 2022;35(3):195-201.   Published online December 1, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2021.0078
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Purpose

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the volume of trauma patients, the number of orthopedic trauma operations, and the severity of injuries. We also investigated the correlations between social distancing and these variables.

Methods

This was a retrospective review of trauma patient cases at a single focused training center for trauma in Korea from January 2017 to April 2021. The COVID-19 group included patients treated from January 1 to April 30 in 2020 and 2021, and the control group included patients treated during the same months from 2017 to 2019. The volume of trauma patients according to the level of social distancing was evaluated among patients treated from August 2, 2020 to November 23, 2020.

Results

The study included 3,032 patients who presented to the emergency department with traumatic injuries from January to April 2017 to 2021. The average number of patients was 646.7 and 546.0 in the control and COVID-19 groups, respectively. The percentage of patients injured in traffic accidents (TAs) decreased from 25.0% to 18.2% (p<0.0001). The proportions of in-car TAs and pedestrian TAs also decreased from 6.7% and 10.8% to 3.5% and 6.0%, respectively (p=0.0002 and p<0.0001). The percentage of bicycle TAs increased from 2.4% to 4.0% (p=0.0128). The proportion of patients with an Injury Severity Score above 15 and the mortality rate did not change significantly. As the level of social distancing increased, the number of trauma patients and the number of trauma injuries from TAs decreased. The number of orthopedic trauma operations also depended on the social distancing level.

Conclusions

The number of trauma patients presenting to the emergency department decreased during the COVID-19 period. The volume of trauma patients and orthopedic trauma operations decreased as the social distance level increased.

Summary

J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury