How much could a low COVID-19 pandemic change the injury trends? A single-institute, retrospective cohort study

Ling Wei Kuo, Chih Yuan Fu, Chien An Liao, Chien Hung Liao, Yu Tung Wu, Jen Fu Huang, Chi Hsun Hsieh, Chi Tung Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives COVID-19 has changed the epidemiology of trauma. However, Taiwan is a country with a low COVID-19 threat, and people's daily lives have remained mostly unchanged during this period. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the trend of trauma incidence and the service of trauma care is affected by the relatively minor COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. Design A single-institute, retrograde cohort study. Setting An observational study based on the trauma registry of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH). Participants Trauma patients presented to the emergency department of CGMH in the period of 1 January to 30 June 2020 (week 1 to week 26) were designated as the COVID-19 group, with 1980 patients in total. Patients of the same period in 2015-2019 were designated as the pre-COVID-19 group, with 10 334 patients overall. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome is the incidence of trauma admission. Differences in trauma mechanism, severity, location and outcome were also compared in both groups. Results A decrease in trauma incidence during March and April 2020 was noticed. Significant change (p<0.001) in trauma mechanisms was discovered, with decreased burn (5.8% vs 3.6%) and assault (4.8% vs 1.2%), and increased transport accidents (43.2% vs 47.2%) and suicide (0.2% vs 1.0%) in the COVID-19 cohort. A shift in injury locations was also found with a 5% decrement of workplace injuries (19.8% vs 14.8%, p<0.001). Conclusion The limited COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan has led to a decreased incidence of trauma patients, and the reduction is mostly attributed to the decline in workplace injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere046405
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - 16 03 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • trauma management


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