AIM: To assess the effects of the community lockdown phases on trauma-related admissions to Midland region hospitals over the period 15 February to 10 July 2020, and to compare volume variation with the same period in the previous three years .
METHODS: A retrospective, descriptive study of prospectively collected data from the Midland Trauma Registry in New Zealand .
RESULTS: There was a 36.7% (p <.00001) reduction in injury admissions during Alert Level 4 ('Lockdown') compared with the same period in 2017 , 2018 and 2019 . This was in the context of volume increases during the pre-lockdown period (17.8%, p <.00001) and a 'rebound' as restrictions eased . There was an increase in injuries occurring at home (28.3%, p <.00001) and on footpaths (37.9%, p=0.00076), while there was a decline in events on roads (33.0%, p=0.017), at schools (75.0%, p <.00001) and in sports areas (79.7%, p <.00001). Falls remained the dominant mechanism of injury in 2020, contributing 39.9% of all hospitalisations .
CONCLUSIONS: The reduction in hospital admissions during alert levels 4 and 3 was short lived, with a rebound evident when restrictions eased . Hospital resources have been strained because this rebound coincided with a planned 'catch up' on healthcare that was delayed during the higher community restriction levels.