Increased perioperative mortality for femoral neck fractures in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): experience from the United Kingdom during the first wave of the pandemic
Wright EV., Musbahi O., Singh A., Somashekar N., Huber CP., Wiik AV.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec> <jats:title>Background</jats:title> <jats:p>The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented modern healthcare with an unprecedented challenge. At the peak of the pandemic, trauma and orthopaedic services at our institutions undertook internal restructuring, diverting resources to frontline medical care. Consequently, we sought to assess the impact on the elderly and comorbid patients presenting with femoral neck fractures, with a particular focus on 30-day mortality, length of stay, multidisciplinary team involvement and departmental structuring.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Method</jats:title> <jats:p>A retrospective analysis of patients presenting with femoral neck fractures at three separate West London NHS Trusts was undertaken between March 11, 2020, to April 30, 2020. Length of stay, 30-day mortality and adherence to parameters constituting the best care evidence-based practice tariffs were compared between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positive and negative patients. A similar comparison was also conducted between our cohort and the equivalent period in 2018 using data from the National Hip Fracture Database.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Results</jats:title> <jats:p>A total of 68 patients presenting with femoral neck fractures were identified, mean age 81 (range 38–98), 73% female. There were 10 confirmed/suspected cases of COVID-19 on admission and a further seven confirmed as inpatients. The 30-day mortality within our cohort was 11.76% compared to 6% nationally in 2018 (<jats:italic>p</jats:italic> = 0.045). Orthogeriatric reviews occurred within 72 h in 71% of cases compared to 88% in the equivalent 2018 period. Within the cohort, mean length of stay was 17.13 days (SD 5.6, range 8-27 days) for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared to 10 days (SD 8.7, range 1–53 days) for negative patients (<jats:italic>p</jats:italic> < 0.05). Thirty-two patients (47%) required increased packages of care on discharge or rehabilitation.</jats:p> </jats:sec><jats:sec> <jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title> <jats:p>The increase in 30-day mortality for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients presenting with femoral neck fractures is multifactorial, resulting from a combination of the direct effects of COVID-19 pneumonia as well as changes to the delivery of orthopaedic services. The provision of multidisciplinary care was directly affected by staff redeployment, particularly reorganisation of orthogeriatric services and lack of continuity of ward based clinical care. Our experiences have re-directed efforts towards the management of theatre teams, patient services and staffing, should we be faced with either a resurgence of COVID-19 or a future pandemic.</jats:p> </jats:sec>