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Pediatric Trauma Epidemiology During The Covid-19 Pandemic And Sociopolitical Unrest Of 2020: A Multi-institutional Study
Amelia T. Collings1, Manzur Farazi2, Thomas Sato2, *Mary E. Fallat3, Peter C. Minneci4, Kyle Van Arendonk2, K. Elizabeth Speck5, Rashmi Kabre6, *Katherine Flynn-O'Brien2
1Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN;2Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI;3Hiram C. Polk, Jr Department of Surgery, University of Louisville and Norton Children’s Hospital, Louisville, KY;4Center for Surgical Outcomes Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Department of Pediatric Surgery, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH;5Division of Pediatric Surgery, Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI;6Division of Pediatric Surgery, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Background (issue): In 2020, the world experienced an unprecedented shift with the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the United States faced significant sociopolitical unrest in the setting of protests against systemic racism. The objective of this study was to investigate how these events impacted the incidence and mechanism of pediatric injury. Methods: The Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium conducted a multi-center, retrospective study evaluating patients <18 years old with traumatic injuries that met NTDB inclusion criteria. “Historical” controls from an averaged period of April-September 2016-2019 were compared to patients injured after the implementation of the Stay-at-Home Orders through September 2020 (“COVID” cohort). Findings: A total of 7 Level I pediatric trauma centers participated, contributing 42,946 pediatric trauma patients. Trauma volume increased during the COVID cohort compared to the historical average, with a peak difference in June (Figure 1). Regional variations were observed, some sites demonstrated no difference in trauma volume, up to a 73% increase. Additionally, there was a significant increase in the proportion of penetrating injuries (7.6% Historical vs. 9.8% COVID, p<0.001) with a corresponding decrease in blunt injuries (77.3% Historical vs. 70.9% COVID, p<0.001). Conclusions (implications for practice): An increase in traumatic injuries was identified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The variation between centers suggests variable impact of the specific sociopolitical climate of each catchment area. Further research is required to define the consequences of these events.


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