OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on the emergency department admission complaints of patients with neurological symptoms .
METHODS: A total of 976 patients admitted to the emergency department of our hospital and had undergone neurology consultation during a 6-month period were evaluated . The reasons for consultation, the number of patients consulted, hospitalization counts, and imaging studies for neurological assessment including computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), were recorded and compared .
RESULTS: Compared to the pre-pandemic period, there were significant decreases in the number of neurological consultations requested by the emergency department (overall and related to stroke, seizure and other reasons) and the number of patients hospitalized in the neurology department . We also found that the number of orders for cranial CT and MRI images during the pandemic period had decreased significantly .
CONCLUSION: Restrictions, social isolation measures and patients' reluctance to apply to hospitals to avoid contact with possibly infected people may have led to a decrease in the number of patients with neurological symptoms admitted to the emergency department and the number of hospitalized patients.