Pediatr Emerg Med J.  2022 Dec;9(2):82-89. 10.22470/pemj.2022.00500.

Changes in pediatric injury-related visits during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic at a single regional emergency medical center in Korea

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea


This study was aimed to investigate the changes in pediatric injury-related visits at an emergency department (ED) during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
We retrospectively compared injury-related visits to an ED in Korea by children aged 15 years or younger during February 2020-December 2021 (pandemic period), and the visits during February 2018-December 2019. Clinical characteristics, injury mechanisms, diagnostic codes, and ED outcomes were noted. We performed 2 sub-analyses of the pandemic period: biannual changes in the visits, and monthly trends of proportions of concussion and superficial injury as diagnostic codes using linear regression.
Despite a 51.2% reduction in injury-related visits during the pandemic, the proportion of the visits increased (25.2% vs. 40.0%; P < 0.001). Overall, increases were noted in proportions of use of emergency medical services and high acuity (P < 0.001). Among the diagnostic codes, brain injuries, fracture and dislocation, and laceration increased while superficial injuries, burn, intoxication, and foreign body ingestion decreased (P < 0.001). As the pandemic prolonged, injury-to-ED time shortened and ED length of stay lengthened while the abovementioned trends remained unchanged. Linear regression showed that the proportions of concussion and superficial injury respectively increased and decreased by 0.01% per month (P < 0.001).
The changes in pediatric injury-related visits at the ED during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may serve as a basis for distributing emergency medicine resources in future infectious disease outbreaks.


COVID-19; Emergency Service, Hospital; Pandemics; Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Wounds and Injuries


  • Fig. 1. Monthly trends of visits to the emergency department (2018-2021) plotting the total (dashed line), disease-related (dotted line), and injury-related (solid line) visits. “With COVID-19 policy” refers to the policy of gradual recovery of daily life. COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019.

  • Fig. 2. Monthly trends of proportions of concussion (A) and superficial injury (B) as diagnostic codes of the Korean Standard Classification of Diseases and Causes of Death, 7th revision during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The proportions of concussion and superficial injury respectively increased and decreased by 0.01% per month (P < 0.001). Dashed lines indicate the linear regression trendlines.



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