The effect of COVID-19 lockdown on the incidence of emergency department visits due to injuries and the most typical fractures in 4 Finnish hospitals
Keywords:coronavirus, COVID-19, injury, trauma
Background and purpose: COVID-19 lockdowns have affected personal mobility and behavior worldwide. This study compared the number of emergency department (ED) visits due to injuries and typical low-energy fractures in Finland during the COVID-19 lockdown period in spring 2020 to the reference period in 2019.
Patients and methods: The data was collected retrospectively from the electronic patient records of 4 hospitals covering 1/5 of the Finnish population. We included the patients who were admitted to a hospital ED due to any injury during the lockdown period (March 18–May 31, 2020) and the reference period (March 18–May 31, 2019). We compared the differences between the average daily ED
admissions in the 2 years using the zero-inflated Poisson regression model.
Results: The overall number of ED visits due to injuries decreased by 16% (mean 134/day vs. 113/day, 95% CI –18 to –13). The number of ED visits due to wrist fractures decreased among women aged over 50 years by 40% (CI –59 to –9). Among women, the number of ED visits due to ankle fractures decreased by 32% (CI –52 to –5). The number of ED visits due to fractures of the upper end of the humerus
decreased by 52% (CI –71 to –22) among women. The number of ED visits due to hip fractures increased by 2% (CI –16 to 24).
Interpretation: Restrictions in personal mobility decreased the number of ED visits due to injuries during the pandemic. The effect can mainly be seen as a decreased number of the most typical low-energy fractures among women. In contrast, lockdown restrictions had no effect on the number of hip fractures.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Henri Nygren, Juho Kopra, Heikki Kröger, Ilari Kuitunen, Ville M Mattila, Ville Ponkilainen, Toni Rikkonen, Reijo Sund, Joonas Sirola
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