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EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON TRAUMA ACTIVATIONS AND ADMISSIONS AT AN URBAN TRAUMA CENTER
A Spesard, R Foster, E Edhayan, K Hagglund
Ascension St. John Hospital and Medical Center

Background
The unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in strain on healthcare providers and resources. This study is intended to evaluate the effect of the pandemic on the trauma department of an urban trauma center.

Methods
A retrospective analysis of the trauma registry at an urban trauma center was performed over four time periods. Period 1 is the 2.5 month period from March 17, 2020 to May 31, 2020 corresponding to the stay-at-home order. Period 2 is the same time period from 2019. The 2.5 months from June 01, 2020 to Aug 17, 2020 were Period 3 and the same period in 2019 is Period 4. Trauma activations, admissions, injury severity, and injury patterns were compared over all four periods.

Results
Period 1 had 487 admissions with 68 activations. Period 2 had 571 admissions with 68 activations. Period 3 had 567 admissions with 93 activations. Period 4 had 648 admissions with 82 activations. Overall, 2020 had 1054 trauma admissions compared to 1219 in 2019. When comparing Period 1 to Period 2, a significant decrease in trauma admission rate was noted with 80% in Period 1 and 87% in Period 2. The mean age was decreased in Periods 1 and 3 (44.9 + 23.8 years, 43.1 + 24.9 years) compared to Periods 2 and 4 (47.9 + 22.1 years, 46.1 + 25.1 years). Period 3 had a decrease in injuries from falls (34% vs 40%), and an increase in gunshot wounds (14% vs 9%) when compared to Period 4.

Conclusion
Decreased trauma admissions during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order were significant while trauma activations were unchanged. With this decrease in trauma admissions, trauma personnel and resources could be reallocated to departments with increased demands such as intensive care settings or emergency departments.


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