To gain insight into the effect of the coronavirus measures on the number of severe injuries treated at Emergency Departments (EDs).
Retrospective observational research.
We compared prevalences of ED visits from the Dutch Injury Surveillance System (DISS) between the period of semi-lockdown (16 March-10 May 2020) and the same period in 2019. The same comparisons were made for the period of relaxation of measures (11 May-5 July 2020) and for the period of relaxation versus lockdown. To eliminate a possible effect of avoiding emergency care, analyses were performed on severe injury related ED-visits.
The prevalence of severe injury related ED-visits during the period of lockdown was 27 percent lower compared to the same period in 2019 (6.755 versus 4.902, P<0.05). This decrease was observed for all types of injuries and age groups, but was strongest for sports injuries (-53%) and among 10-19-year-olds (-55%). In contrast, the number of ED-visits increased after accidents with jobs in the house (+31%) and roller-skates (+223%). Among 0-11-year-olds, more accidents with trampolines were reported (+68%). During the period of relaxation, the number of severe injury related ED-visits increased with 19 percent, but was 11 percent lower compared to 2019.
The changes in activities following the coronavirus measures have led to changes in the number of severe injuries treated at EDs. The variations observed during the periods of lockdown and relaxation seem to be correlated with the amount of exposure in sports, traffic, stay at home and leisure activity.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.