Vanderbilt Medical Center reports fewer trauma victims under coronavirus lockdown

The adult trauma unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is expected to admit 65% fewer patients in April from motor vehicle accidents compared to last April, according to a release. (Courtesy Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
The adult trauma unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is expected to admit 65% fewer patients in April from motor vehicle accidents compared to last April, according to a release. (Courtesy Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

The adult trauma unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is expected to admit 65% fewer patients in April from motor vehicle accidents compared to last April, according to a release. (Courtesy Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

The adult trauma unit at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is expected to admit 65% fewer patients in April from motor vehicle accidents compared to last April, according to a release.


Officials with the VUMC attribute the lower number of trauma victims to less roadway traffic over the past few weeks as a result of Gov. Bill Lee’s April 2 stay-at-home order.

“I think the cause for this big drop is that people have been staying home, plain and simple,” said Dr. Bradley Dennis, interim chief of the division of trauma and surgical critical care, in a release. “The social distancing and shelter-at-home recommendations from the city and the state governments appear to have been largely heeded.”


According to data from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, 212 crashes that led to serious injuries or fatalities have been reported across the state for the month of April 2020, compared to 473 in April 2019 and 477 in April 2018.

Though blunt trauma cases, such as those that come from traffic accidents, have gone down for the medical center, penetrating trauma cases have not, Dennis said.

“Unfortunately, interpersonal violence continues to happen whether we're socially distancing or not,” Dennis said in the release. “While we’re seeing much less blunt trauma than usual, we’re seeing the same amounts of gunshots and stabbings that we typically see.”