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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

On-line version ISSN 2215-5287Print version ISSN 1409-0015


FERMANDES, Paulo Cesar Rozental et al. Aspects of trauma related to violence, accidents and falls before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2022, vol.39, n.1, pp.81-97. ISSN 2215-5287.


Trauma is the second leading cause of mortality and the sixth leading cause of hospitalization in the country, with violence, accidents, and falls being the most prevalent. However, the country is experiencing reflexes of the COVID-19 pandemic, together with a lack of studies on trauma, as well as on clinical care.


To analyze the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of trauma related to violence, accidents, and falls among the years 2019, 2020, and 2021, considered as before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and Methods:

Retrospective cohort study, with adults aged 25-55 years, who suffered trauma related to violence, falls, and other accidents, in the period between March and June of 2019, 2020, and 2021, in the city of São Paulo. Data surveys were carried out using the TABNET system, of the Municipal Health Department. Within this system, the search was carried out through the Information System for the Surveillance of Accidents, of the Coordination of Health Surveillance, in which situations of violence were notified and recorded by the National Information System for Notifiable Diseases. Subsequently, the Information System for Surveillance of Violence and Accidents was accessed, focusing on notifications and records of falls and other accidents.


Trauma remained more prevalent for males, with complete primary education, and ethnicity predominantly between white or brown. When analyzing the different types of violence: physical, torture, and sexual, there was a prevalence of higher percentages during the year 2019, the pre-pandemic period of COVID-19, except for psychological/moral violence, which was higher in 2021. It should also be noted that the different mechanisms of violence were significantly more prevalent in 2019, as well as the different causes of violence, falls, and car trauma involving pedestrians, occupants, drivers, and passengers. Outpatient care confirmed the higher trend in the pre-pandemic period; however, emergency hospital care showed a greater number of requests in 2020 and 2021.


Trauma from violence, accidents, and falls was higher pre-pandemic compared to the period during the COVID-19 pandemic; as well as the search for health care in hospitals and outpatient clinics. These findings show a possible reduction in trauma reports and lower demand for assistance during the pandemic.

Keywords : Trauma; violence; accidents; assistance; fall; COVID-19.

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