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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Background: 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 (UK) entered a state of ‘lockdown’ on 23rd March 2020. Restrictions were most significantly eased on 1st June 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 (MTC) during April 2018 and April 2019 (pre-lockdown; N=316), and 1st April – 31st May 2020 (lockdown; N=191) had electronic patient records (EPRs) analysed retrospectively. Patients’ blood alcohol level and records of intoxication were used to identify alcohol-related trauma. Trauma admissions from pre- and post-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%), versus pre-lockdown 62/316 (19.6%); (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.83, 95% CI 0.38 to 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: UK 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
JournalChinese Journal of Traumatology
Early online date14 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2021


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

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