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Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the change in the pattern of the presentation of trauma cases at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, before the COVID-19 pandemic and during its two waves/phases. Methods: This retrospective study was carried out from January 2019 to October 2021. Data on all trauma patients were collected from the hospital information system after ethics committee approval. The pattern of trauma was divided into paediatric, adult and geriatric age groups. The location of trauma was described as either outdoors, at home or on roads. This information was collected along with the details of the mechanism of trauma. Patients with incomplete data were excluded. Results: Based on the inclusion criteria, 589 records were analysed. The mean age of presentation was 29 years. The majority were male (71%) with 54.2% adults, 34% paediatrics and 11.9% geriatrics. There was a gradual increase in the percentage of paediatric trauma during pre-COVID, COVID phase one and phase two, which were 29%, 32% and 51%, respectively. A significant decline (almost 50%) in the number of geriatric trauma cases was observed between pre-COVID and COVID phase two. Trauma at home increased by 65.9% during COVID phase two and penetrating trauma increased by 16.5% during COVID phase two. Intensive care unit admissions increased during the first phase of the pandemic by 10.5%. Conclusion: A significant change was found in the pattern of trauma cases before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. These observations could lead to better safety guidelines for the paediatric age group and steps could be taken to reduce penetrating trauma.
Keywords: Trauma; Coronavirus; COVID-19; Epidemiology; Oman.
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