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Severely injured patients do not disappear in a pandemic: Incidence and characteristics of severe injuries during COVID-19 lockdown in Finland.
Acta Orthop. 2021 06; 92(3):249-253.AO

Abstract

Background and purpose - COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in noteworthy changes in trauma admissions. We report and compare the incidence and characteristics of severe injuries (New Injury Severity Score [NISS] > 15) during the COVID-19 lockdown in Finland with earlier years.Methods - We retrospectively analyzed incidence rate, injury severity scores, injury patterns, and mechanisms of injury of all severely injured patients (NISS >15) in 4 Finnish hospitals (Tampere University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Central Finland Hospital, Mikkeli Central Hospital) during the 11-week lockdown period (March 16-May 31, 2020) with comparison with a matching time period in earlier years (2016-2018). These 4 hospitals have a combined catchment area of 1,150,000 people or roughly one-fifth of the population of Finland.Results - The incidence rate of severe injuries during the lockdown period was 4.9/10[5] inhabitants (95% CI 3.7-6.4). The incidence rate of severe injuries during years 2016-2018 was 5.1/10[5] inhabitants (CI 3.9-6.5). We could not detect a significant incidence difference between the lockdown period and the 3 previous years (incidence rate difference -0.2 (CI -2.0 to 1.7). The proportion of traffic-related accidents was 55% during the lockdown period and 51% during previous years. There were no detectable differences in injury patterns. During the lockdown period, the mean age of patients was higher (53 years vs. 47 years, p = 0.03) and the rate of severely injured elderly patients (aged 70 or more) was higher (30% vs. 16%).Interpretation - Despite heavy social restrictions, the incidence of severe injuries during the lockdown period was similar to previous years. Notably, a decline in road use and traffic volumes did not reduce the number of severe traffic accidents. Although our data is compatible with a decrease of 2.0 to an increase of 1.7 severely injured patients per 10[5] inhabitants, we conclude that severely injured patients do not disappear even during pandemic and stabile hospital resources are needed to treat these patients.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Orthopedics, Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere.Department of Surgery, Central Finland Hospital, Jyväskylä.Mikkeli Central Hospital, Mikkeli, University of Eastern Finland, School of Medicine, Kuopio.Department of Orthopedics, Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere.Kuopio Musculoskeletal Research Unit (KMRU), University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, University Hospital, Department of Orthopedics, Traumatology and Hand Surgery, Kuopio.Department of Orthopedics, Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33538233

Citation

Riuttanen, Antti, et al. "Severely Injured Patients Do Not Disappear in a Pandemic: Incidence and Characteristics of Severe Injuries During COVID-19 Lockdown in Finland." Acta Orthopaedica, vol. 92, no. 3, 2021, pp. 249-253.
Riuttanen A, Ponkilainen V, Kuitunen I, et al. Severely injured patients do not disappear in a pandemic: Incidence and characteristics of severe injuries during COVID-19 lockdown in Finland. Acta Orthop. 2021;92(3):249-253.
Riuttanen, A., Ponkilainen, V., Kuitunen, I., Reito, A., Sirola, J., & Mattila, V. M. (2021). Severely injured patients do not disappear in a pandemic: Incidence and characteristics of severe injuries during COVID-19 lockdown in Finland. Acta Orthopaedica, 92(3), 249-253. https://doi.org/10.1080/17453674.2021.1881241
Riuttanen A, et al. Severely Injured Patients Do Not Disappear in a Pandemic: Incidence and Characteristics of Severe Injuries During COVID-19 Lockdown in Finland. Acta Orthop. 2021;92(3):249-253. PubMed PMID: 33538233.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Severely injured patients do not disappear in a pandemic: Incidence and characteristics of severe injuries during COVID-19 lockdown in Finland. AU - Riuttanen,Antti, AU - Ponkilainen,Ville, AU - Kuitunen,Ilari, AU - Reito,Aleksi, AU - Sirola,Joonas, AU - Mattila,Ville M, Y1 - 2021/02/04/ PY - 2021/2/5/pubmed PY - 2021/7/2/medline PY - 2021/2/4/entrez SP - 249 EP - 253 JF - Acta orthopaedica JO - Acta Orthop VL - 92 IS - 3 N2 - Background and purpose - COVID-19 lockdowns have resulted in noteworthy changes in trauma admissions. We report and compare the incidence and characteristics of severe injuries (New Injury Severity Score [NISS] > 15) during the COVID-19 lockdown in Finland with earlier years.Methods - We retrospectively analyzed incidence rate, injury severity scores, injury patterns, and mechanisms of injury of all severely injured patients (NISS >15) in 4 Finnish hospitals (Tampere University Hospital, Kuopio University Hospital, Central Finland Hospital, Mikkeli Central Hospital) during the 11-week lockdown period (March 16-May 31, 2020) with comparison with a matching time period in earlier years (2016-2018). These 4 hospitals have a combined catchment area of 1,150,000 people or roughly one-fifth of the population of Finland.Results - The incidence rate of severe injuries during the lockdown period was 4.9/10[5] inhabitants (95% CI 3.7-6.4). The incidence rate of severe injuries during years 2016-2018 was 5.1/10[5] inhabitants (CI 3.9-6.5). We could not detect a significant incidence difference between the lockdown period and the 3 previous years (incidence rate difference -0.2 (CI -2.0 to 1.7). The proportion of traffic-related accidents was 55% during the lockdown period and 51% during previous years. There were no detectable differences in injury patterns. During the lockdown period, the mean age of patients was higher (53 years vs. 47 years, p = 0.03) and the rate of severely injured elderly patients (aged 70 or more) was higher (30% vs. 16%).Interpretation - Despite heavy social restrictions, the incidence of severe injuries during the lockdown period was similar to previous years. Notably, a decline in road use and traffic volumes did not reduce the number of severe traffic accidents. Although our data is compatible with a decrease of 2.0 to an increase of 1.7 severely injured patients per 10[5] inhabitants, we conclude that severely injured patients do not disappear even during pandemic and stabile hospital resources are needed to treat these patients. SN - 1745-3682 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33538233/Severely_injured_patients_do_not_disappear_in_a_pandemic:_Incidence_and_characteristics_of_severe_injuries_during_COVID_19_lockdown_in_Finland_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -