AIM: We examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on how many children were admitted to Israel's largest tertiary paediatric hospital and why they were admitted .
METHODS: Israel declared COVID-19 a national emergency on 19 March 2020 . This study examined daily hospital admissions to our three general paediatric wards during the COVID-19 lockdown period from 20 March to 18 April 2020 . These 258 admissions were compared with the 4217 admissions from the period immediately before this , 1 February to 19 March 2020, plus 1 February to 18 April in 2018 and 2019 . We also compared why patients were admitted during the study period, and any pre-existing conditions, with 638 children hospitalised during the same period in 2019 .
RESULTS: The mean number of daily hospitalisations during the COVID-19 lockdown period was 8.6, which was 59% lower than the 20.9 recorded during the other three periods before COVID-19 . There was a significant decrease in the number of patients admitted with infectious (74 %) and non-infectious (44 %) aetiologies from 2019 to 2020, and these occurred among patients with (58 %), and without (55 %), pre-existing medical conditions .
CONCLUSION: The Israeli COVID-19 lockdown had a dramatic effect on admissions to the paediatric wards of a tertiary hospital.