The early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hip fracture care in Australia and New Zealand.

Presenter’s name (Last, First): Liaw, William Xian Zhi

Qualifications: MD

Affiliations: Prince of Wales Hospital

Other authors:
Dr Morag Taylor Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia

Professor Jacqueline Close Geriatrician Prince of Wales Hospital

Dr Benjamin Liaw, John Hunter Hospital


Background / Introduction:
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted healthcare systems throughout the world. In March 2020, non-urgent elective surgeries were cancelled and resources targeted towards the COVID-19 response. This study compares hip fracture care in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic with the same period in 2018-2019 .

Patients / Methods:
The study sample comprised patients aged ≥50 years who were admitted to hospitals participating in the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry with surgical repair of their hip fracture between the 26March and 27 April 2018, 2019 and 2020. Patients were classified as pre-COVID (2018/2019) or pandemic (2020) for comparison. There were 2110patients in the pre-covid group (PC) and 1100 patients in the pandemic group (P).



There was no significant difference in age of the two cohorts. Time to surgery was significantly reduced in the pandemic cohort (median PC 28.6h vs P 24.5h ) (P = 0.000),length of stay was shorter (median PC 16.7 days vs P 10.7 days) (P = 0.000), cognitive assessments completed increased (PC 53% vs P 66%) (P = 0.000), consultant presence increased (PC 61% vs P 76%)(P=0.000) and discharge destination changed with less patients going to rehabilitation (PC 54.9% vs P47.0%) (P=0.000).

During the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic there was an improvement in a number of measures of hip fracture care in Australia and New Zealand. More research is required to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic beyond the initial phase.

Level of Evidence & Study type: Level III Comparative Study

Declarations of Conflict: No conflicts of interest