Introduction The shelter-in-place order for Santa Clara County, California on 16 March was the first of its kind in the USA. It was unknown what impact this order would have on trauma activations.
Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of institutional trauma registries among the two American College of Surgeons Level 1 trauma centers serving Santa Clara County, California. Trauma activation volumes at the trauma centers from January to March 2020 were compared with month-matched historical cohorts from 2018 to 2019.
Results Only 81 (3%) patients were trauma activations at the trauma centers in the 15 days after the shelter-in-place order went into effect on 16 March 2020, compared with 389 activations during the same time period in 2018 and 2019 (p<0.0001). There were no other statistically significant changes to the epidemiology of trauma activations. Only one trauma activation had a positive COVID-19 test.
Discussion Overall trauma activations decreased 4.8-fold after the shelter-in-place order went into effect in Santa Clara County on 16 March 2020, with no other effect on the epidemiology of persons presenting after traumatic injury.
Conclusion Shelter-in-place orders may reduce strain on healthcare systems by diminishing hospital admissions from trauma, in addition to reducing virus transmission.
- wounds and injuries
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Contributors JDF: data acquisition, manuscript preparation and editing; RL and RMJ: data acquisition and manuscript preparation; LMK and DS: manuscript preparation and editing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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