Hip fracture characteristics and outcomes during COVID-19: a large retrospective national database review.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare in various vulnerable patient subpopulations. However, data are lacking on the impact of COVID-19 on hip fractures, seen mainly in older patients. Using national claims data, we aimed to describe the epidemiology during the first COVID-19 wave in the USA.We compared patients admitted for hip fractures during March and April of 2020 with those admitted in 2019 in terms of patient and healthcare characteristics, COVID-19 diagnosis, and outcomes. An additional comparison was made between COVID-19-positive and -negative patients. Outcomes included length of hospital stay (LOS), admission to an ICU, ICU LOS, use of mechanical ventilation, 30-day readmission, discharge disposition, and a composite variable of postoperative complications.Overall, 16 068 hip fractures were observed in 2019 compared with 7498 in 2020. Patients with hip fractures in 2020 (compared with 2019) experienced earlier hospital discharge and were less likely to be admitted to ICU, but more likely to be admitted to home. Amongst 83 patients with hip fractures with concomitant COVID-19 diagnosis, we specifically observed more non-surgical treatments, almost doubled LOS, a more than 10-fold increased mortality rate, and higher complication rates compared with COVID-19-negative patients.The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted not only volume of hip fractures, but also patterns in care and outcomes. These results may inform policymakers in future outbreaks and how this may affect vulnerable patient populations, such as those experiencing a hip fracture.

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Authors: Haoyan Zhong, Jashvant Poeran, Jiabin Liu, Lauren A Wilson, Stavros G Memtsoudis