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Paediatric emergency department dog bite attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic: an audit at a tertiary children’s hospital
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  • Published on:
    Paediatric dog bites in another English tertiary children's hospital
    • Majel M McGranahan, Public Health Registrar Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Trust
    • Other Contributors:
      • Andrea AM Jester, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
      • Christopher Chiswell, Consultant in Public Health Medicine

    Dear Authors,

    We are interested to read this paper highlighting changes in dog bite attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic at Alder Hey Hospital, particularly as our own experiences of dog bite attendances experiences for the Midlands tertiary paediatric referral centre during the COVID-19 pandemic has been different.

    Liverpool and Birmingham have had similar overall numbers of Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances over the last few years. Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) had 5017 mean monthly attendances January 2016-March 2020 compared to 5035 mean monthly attendances over the same period at Alder Hey. At the start of the COVID-19 public health restrictions, a similar drop in A&E attendances was seen with 2236 A&E attendances in April 2020 at BCH, compared to 2056 A&E attendances in April 2020 at Alder Hey.

    During July 2020, however, in contrast to the Liverpool experience, numbers of attendances to A&E with dog bites at BCH remained consistent with previous years (15 attendances in July 2020, compared to 15 in July 2019, 16 in July 2018, 14 in July 2017 and <5 in July 2016). We did see greater variability in other months, with higher levels of attendances with dog bites in May 2020 (12 attendances compared to <5 in 2019 and 2018, and 6 in 2017 and 2016), and in August 2020 (17 attendances compared to 13 in 2019, 12 in 2018, 9 in 2017 and 6 in 2016), but the overall impact was not significant.

    The contrast be...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.