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Title: Aeromedical retrieval diagnostic trends during a period of Coronavirus 2019 lockdown.
Austin Authors: Gardiner, Fergus W;Gillam, Marianne;Churilov, Leonid ;Sharma, Pritish;Steere, Mardi;Hannan, Michelle;Hooper, Andrew;Quinlan, Frank
Affiliation: The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Federation
Department of Rural Health, University of South Australia, Australia
Melbourne Brain Centre at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne Medical School, The University of Melbourne, Australia
The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, Jandakot, Australia
The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Central Operations
The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Queensland Section
The Royal Flying Doctor Service, Western Operations
Medicine (University of Melbourne)
Issue Date: 11-Oct-2020 2020-12
Publication information: Internal Medicine Journal 2020; 50(12): 1457-1467
Abstract: Little is known on the trends of aeromedical retrieval during social isolation. To compare the pre, lockdown, and post-lockdown aeromedical retrieval (AR) patient characteristics during a period of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) social isolation. An observational study with retrospective data collection, consisting of AR between 26 January and 23 June 2020. There were 16981 ARs consisting of 1983 (11.7%) primary evacuations (PEs) and 14998 (88.3%) inter-hospital transfers (IHTs), with a population median age of 52 years (interquartile range [IQR] 29.0-69.0), with 49.0% (n= 8283) of the cohort being male and 38.0% (n= 6399) being female. There were six confirmed and 230 suspected cases of COVID-19, with the majority of cases (n=134; 58.3%) in the social isolation period. As compared to pre-restriction, the odds of retrieval for the restriction and post-restriction period differed across time between the major diagnostic groups. This included, an increase in cardiovascular retrieval for both restriction and post-restriction periods (OR 1.12 95% CI 1.02-1.24 and OR 1.18 95% CI 1.08-1.30 respectively), increases in neoplasm in the post restriction period (OR 1.31 95% CI 1.04-1.64), and increases for congenital conditions in the restriction period (OR 2.56 95% CI 1.39-4.71). Cardiovascular and congenital conditions had increased rates of priority 1 patients in the restriction and post restriction periods. There was a decrease in endocrine and metabolic disease retrievals in the restriction period (OR 0.72 95% CI 0.53-0.98). There were lower odds during the post-restriction period for a retrievals of the respiratory system (OR 0.78 95% CI 0.67-0.93), and disease of the skin (OR 0.78 95% CI 0.6-1.0). Distribution between the 2019 and 2020 time periods differed (p<0.05), with the lockdown period resulting in a significant reduction in activity. The lockdown period resulted in increased AR rates of circulatory and congenital conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1111/imj.15091
ORCID: 0000-0001-7592-832X
PubMed URL: 33040422
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: COVID-19
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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