Background: The response to the global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic culminated in mandatory isolation throughout the world, with nationwide confinement orders issued to decrease viral spread. These drastic measures were successful in “flattening the curve” and maintaining the previous rate of coronavirus disease 2019 infections and deaths. To date, the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on neurotrauma has not been reported. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed hospital admissions from Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, during the months of March and April from 2016 to 2020. Specifically, we identified all patients who had cranial neurotrauma consisting of traumatic brain injury and/or skull fractures, as well as spinal neurotrauma consisting of vertebral fractures and/or spinal cord injury. We then performed chart review to determine mechanism of injury and if emergent surgical intervention was required. Results: Compared with previous years, we saw a significant decline in the number of neurotraumas during the pandemic, with a 62% decline after the lockdown began. The number of emergent neurotrauma surgical cases also significantly decreased by 84% in the month of April. Interestingly, although the number of vehicular traumas decreased by 77%, there was a significant 100% increase in the number of gunshot wounds. Conclusions: Population seclusion had a direct effect on the frequency of neurotrauma, whereas the change in relative proportion of certain mechanisms may be associated with the psychosocial effects of social distancing and quarantine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology