COVID-19 Pandemic Effects on Clinical Outcomes of Hip Fractures Among Pediatric and Adult Patients

J Trauma Nurs. 2023 Nov-Dec;30(6):334-339. doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000752.


Background: Little is known about the distribution and outcomes of hip fractures in pediatric patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective: To study the clinical outcomes of both pediatric and adult patients who underwent hip fracture surgeries and determine the effects of changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Both pediatric and adult surgical hip fracture cases were analyzed from the pandemic year (2020) and the control year (2019) using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database.

Results: Between the prepandemic (control) and pandemic years, a total of 2,438 pediatric and 28,180 adult cases were compared. Pediatric patients had similar perioperative characteristics and outcomes between the two years. Significantly fewer hip fractures were reported among adults during the pandemic (p < .001). Preoperatively, more adult patients had ventilator dependence (p = .020), transfusions (p = .029), and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (p < .001) in 2020. Adult operations were more likely to be emergent in 2020 (p < .001) and adults had more severe disease states. Length of stay (p < .001) and the time from operation to discharge (p < .001) were significantly longer for the adult cohort in 2020. Mortality was also higher for adults during the first year of the pandemic (p = .003), and superficial surgical site infections became more common (p = .036).

Conclusion: Pediatric hip fracture patients had similar clinical outcomes between 2019 and 2020. Adults with hip fractures presented in more serious clinical conditions, which resulted in higher mortality in 2020. Further studies could better clarify the reasons as to why adult hip fracture patients had markedly worse clinical course during the COVID year than pediatric patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Hip Fractures* / epidemiology
  • Hip Fractures* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies