Impact of the First COVID Lockdown on Accident- and Injury-Related Pediatric Intensive Care Admissions in Germany : A Multicenter Study
Children’s and adolescents’ lives drastically changed during COVID lockdowns worldwide. To compare accident- and injury-related admissions to pediatric intensive care units (PICU) during the first German COVID lockdown with previous years, we conducted a retrospective multicenter study among 37 PICUs (21.5% of German PICU capacities). A total of 1444 admissions after accidents or injuries during the first lockdown period and matched periods of 2017–2019 were reported and standardized morbidity ratios (SMR) were calculated. Total PICU admissions due to accidents/injuries declined from an average of 366 to 346 (SMR 0.95 (CI 0.85–1.05)). Admissions with trauma increased from 196 to 212 (1.07 (0.93–1.23). Traffic accidents and school/kindergarten accidents decreased (0.77 (0.57–1.02 and 0.26 (0.05–0.75)), whereas household and leisure accidents increased (1.33 (1.06–1.66) and 1.34 (1.06–1.67)). Less neurosurgeries and more visceral surgeries were performed (0.69 (0.38–1.16) and 2.09 (1.19–3.39)). Non-accidental non-suicidal injuries declined (0.73 (0.42–1.17)). Suicide attempts increased in adolescent boys (1.38 (0.51–3.02)), but decreased in adolescent girls (0.56 (0.32–0.79)). In summary, changed trauma mechanisms entailed different surgeries compared to previous years. We found no evidence for an increase in child abuse cases requiring intensive care. The increase in suicide attempts among boys demands investigation.
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