In 2020, the pandemic divided France into two zones: COVID-19 and non-COVID-19. The main objective of our study was to compare the variability of surgical and emergency consultation activity amongst two hand trauma centers, between the pandemic period and outside the pandemic period. The secondary objective was to identify at-risk patients in order to develop preventative strategies in hand trauma.
This bi-centric retrospective study considered the epidemiology of admissions to trauma centers during the first French lockdown. The data were compared to the same period in 2019 (control group). Two thousand and fifty-five patients underwent consultations for hand or wrist trauma.
The first French lockdown was associated with a 35% decrease in hand and wrist injuries in the COVID-19 zone versus 24% in the non-COVID-19 zone, compared to the same period in 2019 (p<0.0001, 95% CI: 6.5–15.6). Comparing 2019 and 2020, the incidence of wounds significantly increased in the COVID-19 zone (58% vs. 78%, p<0.0001) and significantly decreased in the non-COVID-19 zone (55% vs. 50%, p<0.0001). Complex wounds (16% vs. 35%, p<0.0001 and 15% vs. 17%, p<0.0001) and open fractures (8% vs. 14%, p=0.019 and 4.5% vs. 5.3%, p<0.0001) significantly increased in both zones during the pandemic. The rate of male, non-manual workers injured in domestic accidents (76% vs. 36%, p<0.0001) was significantly increased in all areas.
Hand and wrist trauma was less frequent but more severe during the pandemic compared to the same period in 2019. By encouraging the public to be aware of the risks and the means to avoid trauma, such as better information and compliance with safety instructions, we could minimize these risks. This data can be useful in planning preventative strategies for future lockdowns.
Level of evidence
III; case-control study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : COVID-19, Emergency, Epidemiology, Hand surgery, Hand trauma, Wounds