“Staying Home”—Early Changes in Patterns of Neurotrauma in New York City During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jacques Lara-Reyna, Kurt A. Yaeger, Christina P. Rossitto, Divaldo Camara, Raymond Wedderburn, Saadi Ghatan, Joshua B. Bederson, Konstantinos Margetis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: New York City is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States. Traumatic brain injury accounts for a significant proportion of admissions to our trauma center. We sought to characterize the effect of the pandemic on neurotraumas, given the cancellation of nonessential activities during the crisis. Methods: Retrospective and prospective reviews were performed from November 2019 to April 2020. General demographics, clinical status, mechanism of trauma, diagnosis, and treatment instituted were recorded. We dichotomized the data between pre−COVID-19 (before 1 March) and COVID-19 periods and compared the differences between the 2 groups. We present the timeline of events since the beginning of the crisis in relation to the number of neurotraumas. Results: A total of 150 patients composed our cohort with a mean age of 66.2 years (standard deviation ±18.9), and 66% were male. More males sustained neurotrauma in the COVID-19 period compared with the pre−COVID-19 (60.4% vs. 77.6%, P = 0.03). The most common mechanism of trauma was mechanical fall, but it was observed less frequently compared with the pre−COVID-19 period (61.4% vs. 40.8; P = 0.03). Subdural hematoma, traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, and intracerebral contusion accounted for the most common pathologies in both periods. Nonoperative management was selected for most patients (79.2 vs. 87.8%, P = 0.201) in both periods. Conclusions: A decrease in the frequency of neurotraumas was observed during the COVID-19 crisis concomitant with the increase in COVID-19 patients in the city. This trend began after the cancellation of nonessential activities and implementation of social distancing recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e344-e350
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury


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