The ICON Trauma Study: the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on major trauma workload in the UK

Academic Article


  • Background: The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has impacted population health and care delivery worldwide. As information emerges regarding the impact of “lockdown measures” and changes to clinical practice worldwide; there is no comparative information emerging from the United Kingdom with regard to major trauma. Methods: This observational study from a UK Major Trauma Centre matched a cohort of patients admitted during a 10-week period of the SARS-CoV-2-pandemic (09/03/2020–18/05/2020) to a historical cohort of patients admitted during a similar time period in 2019 (11/03/2019–20/05/2019). Differences in demographics, Clinical Frailty Scale, SARS-CoV-2 status, mechanism of injury and injury severity were compared using Fisher’s exact and Chi-squared tests. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses examined the associated factors that predicted 30-days mortality. Results: A total of 642 patients were included, with 405 in the 2019 and 237 in the 2020 cohorts, respectively. 4/237(1.69%) of patients in the 2020 cohort tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. There was a 41.5% decrease in the number of trauma admissions in 2020. This cohort was older (median 46 vs 40 years), had more comorbidities and were frail (p < 0.0015). There was a significant difference in mechanism of injury with a decrease in vehicle related trauma, but an increase in falls. There was a twofold increased risk of mortality in the 2020 cohort which in adjusted multivariable models, was explained by injury severity and frailty. A positive SARS-CoV-2 status was not significantly associated with increased mortality when adjusted for other variables. Conclusion: Patients admitted during the COVID-19 pandemic were older, frailer, more co-morbid and had an associated increased risk of mortality.
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  • Adiamah A; Thompson A; Lewis-Lloyd C; Dickson E; Blackburn L; Moody N; Gida S; La Valle A; Reilly JJ; Saunders J