Latest COVID-19 bulletin shows rise in home injuries in Victoria during May

Monash University

Victorians spending more time at home and less time in school and sporting venues has had a pronounced effect on the profile of injuries presented to emergency departments. There was a 21 per cent rise in home injuries during May 2020 compared to 12 months earlier, with emergency department (ED) presentations jumping from 10,105 to 12,265. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home injuries jumped from 194 presentations in May 2019 to 343 in May 2020. Sixty-five per cent of those cases were males aged 25-64 years. Conversely, injuries that occurred in athletics and sports areas dropped by 94 per cent, while there was an 86 per cent decline in injuries in schools, day care centres and public administration areas. The figures have been released by MUARC’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU) as part of its latest monthly bulletin on injuries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin examines rates in Victoria during May 2020 relative to the same time last year. The Unit’s previous bulletin had reported a spike in DIY-related presentations from 255 in April 2019 to 335 in April 2020. There were also increases in assault injuries in the home during May (175, up from 118), and self-harm injuries (up 22 per cent proportional to ED caseload). The total number of transport injuries was slightly lower, but there were 576 presentations relating to pedal cyclists in May 2020. This was up from 371 in May 2019. Data used to compile this bulletin was extracted from the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD), which holds deidentified clinical records of presentations at Victorian public hospitals with designated 24-hour emergency departments (EDs) (currently 38 hospitals). The overall number of ED presentations (not limited to injury) were 24 per cent lower in May 2020 compared to May 2019; presentations declined sharply for respiratory diseases (down 63 per cent); specifically: upper respiratory infection (down 62 per cent), asthma (down 67 per cent) and pneumonia (down 43 per cent).

/Public Release.