Bicycle and firearm injuries increased during COVID-19 shutdowns, study finds

A study of four hospitals in major cities found an increase in bicycle and gun-related injuries last year during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
| License picture

In another example of the cost of the pandemic, a new study finds that there was a significant increase in bicycle and firearm-related injuries during the coronavirus shutdowns in the United States, but a decrease in road.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 27,600 trauma cases at four Level I trauma centers in Orange County, California, Portland, Oregon, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Miami between 2019 and 2020 .

Overall, there was a 100% spike in bicycle-related injuries and a 23.5% increase in firearm-related injuries during this period, but a 12.7% drop in firearm-related injuries. the road.

In Orange County, gunshot wounds increased 55%, bicycle injuries increased nearly 31%, and traffic injuries dropped 10.2%. In Portland, gunshot wounds rose 48.4%, bicycle injuries rose 296.2%, and traffic accidents fell 21.5%.

In Tulsa, gunshot wounds increased by 22.2%, traffic injuries decreased by 5.1%, and bicycle injuries increased by 18.2%. In Miami, gunshot wounds increased by nearly 21%, traffic injuries decreased by 14.5% and bicycle injuries increased by 2.6%.

The study was presented last week at the virtual annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons.

The researchers said the increase in gunshot wounds was unexpected.

“We thought we might see a slight increase in the percentage of [gunshot wounds] given the percentages of [traffic injuries] were down and the percentages might have to increase to cover that mechanism of injury, but we were slightly surprised that not only did the percentage go up, but the actual raw number of firearm injuries went up,” said Dr. Cristobal Barrios, lead author of the study. Jr., clinical professor of health sciences in surgery and assistant dean of admissions at the University of California, Irvine.

“This was true at all trauma centers that provided data to the study,” he said in a press release.

On the other hand, the trends in cycling and road injuries were understandable.

“People weren’t going anywhere for very long distances because there was nowhere to go during the lockdown, but maybe they were using their bikes to get around a bit, exercise and get out of the house,” Barrios explained.

The findings can help healthcare providers and policymakers be better prepared for possible future pandemic-related lockdowns.

“We did this research to shed some light on what to expect in a possible next pandemic lockdown and where to potentially put resources for clinicians in terms of the types of injuries that could present themselves and which could increase. or decrease,” Barrios said.

“Another big contributor would be to have more green spaces in these communities – spaces where people can go out and exercise in a safe environment,” said study presenter Leonardo Alaniz, a student in third year medical student at UC Irvine. “It would also play a huge role in preserving the mental health of our communities.”

Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The National Security Council provides advice on bike safety.

Copyright © 2021 Health Day. All rights reserved.

Back To Top