C.LOH1, W.Q.HENG1, B.G.BINUYA1, C.Y.T.HEAH1, L.Q.CHIU1, M.Y.L.LIM1
Tan Tock Seng Hospital1
The local effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on trauma epidemiology is unknown. This pilot study aims to describe the epidemiology and resource utilisation patterns of major trauma patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) during the pandemic.
This was a 6-month retrospective study of the demographic profiles and resource utilisation of all PAC1 trauma patients presenting to the resuscitation room of Tan Tock Seng ED from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.
328 patients were identified during the study period. The mean age was 49.1 +/- 20.0 (range 19 – 96), with a male preponderance (74.7%). The 3 most common mechanism of injuries were road traffic accidents (48.5%), ground-level fall (25.3%) and fall from height (15.2%). Almost half of the group required activation of the trauma surgery team (46.0%), whilst 18.0% required a clinical review by more than one surgical specialty. Critical care interventions performed included intubation (10.4%), chest thoracostomy (4.6%), pelvic binder (4.3%) and emergency blood product transfusion (4.9%). Computed tomography scans were needed for 74.4% of patients. The median time from activation of inpatient surgical disciplines to clinical decision was 29 minutes (IQR 24 – 41). Patients spent a median time of 56 minutes (IQR 40-80) in the ED.
The burden of trauma care on acute hospital resources is significant even during a pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, further studies to monitor trends in major trauma attendances will help guide resource planning in future pandemics.