Increased proportion of alcohol-related trauma in a South London Major Trauma Centre during lockdown: A cohort study

Oliver S. Brown, Toby O. Smith, Andrew J. Gaukroger, Prodromos Tsinaslanidis, Caroline B. Hing

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Purpose: Alcohol has been associated with 10%–35% trauma admissions and 40% trauma-related deaths globally. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a state of “lockdown” on March 23, 2020. Restrictions were most significantly eased on June 1, 2020, when shops and schools re-opened. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effect of lockdown on alcohol-related trauma admissions. Methods: All adult patients admitted as “trauma calls” to a London major trauma centre during April 2018 and April 2019 (pre-lockdown, n = 316), and 1st April–31st May 2020 (lockdown, n = 191) had electronic patient records analysed retrospectively. Patients’ blood alcohol level and records of intoxication were used to identify alcohol-related trauma. Trauma admissions from pre-lockdown and lockdown cohorts were compared using multiple regression analyses. Results: Alcohol-related trauma was present in a significantly higher proportion of adult trauma calls during lockdown (lockdown 60/191 (31.4%), vs. pre-lockdown 62/316 (19.6%); (odds ratio (OR): 0.83, 95% CI: 0.38–1.28, p < 0.001). Lockdown was also associated with increased weekend admissions of trauma (lockdown 125/191 weekend (65.5%) vs. pre-lockdown 179/316 (56.7%); OR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.79 to −0.02, p = 0.041). No significant difference existed in the age, gender, or mechanism between pre-lockdown and lockdown cohorts (p > 0.05). Conclusions: The United Kingdom lockdown was independently associated with an increased proportion of alcohol-related trauma. Trauma admissions were increased during the weekend when staffing levels are reduced. With the possibility of further global “waves” of COVID-19, the long-term repercussions of dangerous alcohol-related behaviour to public health must be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Journal of Traumatology
Issue number5
Early online date14 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022


  • Trauma
  • Alcohol
  • COVID-19
  • Major trauma centre
  • Lockdown

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