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Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric trauma in Southern California



The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased penetrating trauma and decreased length of stay (LOS) amongst the adult trauma population, findings important for resource allocation. Studies regarding the pediatric trauma population are sparse and mostly single-center. This multicenter study examined pediatric trauma patients, hypothesizing increased penetrating trauma and decreased LOS after the 3/19/2020 stay-at-home (SAH) orders.


A multicenter retrospective analysis of trauma patients ≤ 17 years old presenting to 11 centers in California was performed. Demographic data, injury characteristics, and outcomes were collected. Patients were divided into three groups based on injury date: 3/19/2019-6/30/2019 (CONTROL), 1/1/2020-3/18/2020 (PRE), 3/19/2020-6/30/2020 (POST). POST was compared to PRE and CONTROL in separate analyses.


1677 patients were identified across all time periods (CONTROL: 631, PRE: 479, POST: 567). POST penetrating trauma rates were not significantly different compared to both PRE (11.3 vs. 9.0%, p = 0.219) and CONTROL (11.3 vs. 8.2%, p = 0.075), respectively. POST had a shorter mean LOS compared to PRE (2.4 vs. 3.3 days, p = 0.002) and CONTROL (2.4 vs. 3.4 days, p = 0.002). POST was also not significantly different than either group regarding intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, ventilator days, and mortality (all p > 0.05).


This multicenter retrospective study demonstrated no difference in penetrating trauma rates among pediatric patients after SAH orders but did identify a shorter LOS.

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