Pediatric injury attendances in different population groups in Israel before, during, and after COVID-19 lockdowns: a descriptive study, 2018–2022

Tomer Bernstine, Michael Edelstein, Danna Krupik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lockdowns and quarantines during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced healthcare services’ usage patterns such as emergency department (ED) attendance. During the pandemic, Israel issued three lockdowns (March–May 2020, September–October 2020, and December 2020–February 2021) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Little is known about the impact of these lockdowns on ED attendance for injuries in the diverse population of Northern Israel. Methods: We described patterns of ED attendance before, during, and after COVID-19 lockdowns. We extracted data from medical records of all northern Israeli children aged 0–17 years old who attended Ziv Medical Center (ZMC) emergency department (ED) due to injury, between 01/01/2018 and 10/02/2022. We compared the volume and characteristics of ED attendance during lockdown periods to the same time periods in the 2 years before the pandemic and 1 year after the lockdowns, using chi-square tests. Results: Seven thousand six hundred nineteen northern children attended ZMC ED during the time periods of the study for injuries and were analyzed. Mean attendance numbers during lockdowns decreased compared to previous years, with an increase in injuries proportion (67.8% (1502/2216) vs. 52.7% (2038/3868) p < 0.001). The proportion of 0–4-year-olds attending for injuries during the lockdown increased compared to pre-pandemic (39.68% vs. 30.7%, p < 0.0001). Minority population attendance decreased (27.47% vs. 30.71% p = 0.02). Hospitalization rates increased (13.21% vs. 10.65% p = 0.01). Post-lockdown periods saw a return to the pre-pandemic age and ethnicity distribution. Conclusions: Compared to previous years, the volume of injuries was lower during lockdowns for all ages, with a relative increase in the proportion of injuries among younger children attending the ED. A lower proportion of attendance from minority groups suggests different health-seeking behavior patterns during emergencies compared to the general population. Understanding these differences will help better plan for future emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • COVID-19
  • Lockdowns
  • Minorities
  • Pediatric injuries
  • Younger children


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