Trauma volumes down at Vanderbilt Medical Center due to stay-at-home orders

Vanderbilt Medical
Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 23, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With fewer people driving on roads due to the stay-at-home orders, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has seen a decrease in traumatic injuries at their facility.

According to VUMC, the adult trauma unit there is on track to admit 65% fewer patients this month from car crashes, motorcycle crashes and pedestrians struck by vehicles, compared to April 2019.

"I think the cause for this big drop is that people have been staying home, plain and simple," said Bradley Dennis, interim chief of the trauma and surgical critical care division at VUMC. "The social distancing and shelter at home recommendations from the city and state governments appear to have been largely heeded."

VUMC's trauma numbers are in line with crash numbers from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. This month, car crashes that resulted in death or serious injuries are down by half. Tennessee is also on track to see 25 fewer traffic deaths compared to the average for the same month the last five years.

"Unfortunately, interpersonal violence continues to happen whether we're social distancing or not," said Dennis. "While we're seeing much less blunt trauma than usual, we're seeing the same amounts of gunshots and stabbings that we typically see."

Dennis added that elderly falls were initially down as the COVID-19 pandemic began; however, they're starting to see those numbers rise again, likely showing that people are getting more active as the weather begins to warm.