The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Hospital Visits and Admissions in Paediatric Department, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi

  • Rai Muhammad Asghar
  • Rai Rijjal Ashraf
  • Khalid Saheel
  • Abid Hussain RMU
Keywords: Non-COVID-19, visits, admissions.


Objectives: To assess the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on hospital visits and admissions of non-COVID-19 patients in 2020 compared to 2019.
Material and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted in 2021 at the Department of Pediatrics, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi comparing the data of non-COVID-19 patients visits and admissions from January to December 2019 with non-COVID-19 patients visits and admissions from January to December 2020. The relevant data was retrieved from the Pediatric Department record on a pre-designed study questionnaire. Data was entered and analyzed in SPSS version-24 for descriptive statistics and analysis.
Results: The total OPD visits in 2019 were 112682 patients compared to 63859 patients in 2020 showing a 43.33% reduction. The total number of patients who visited pediatric emergency were 80274 in 2019 and 41182 in 2020, showing a decline of 48.65%. There were a total of 6151 admissions in the paediatric ward in 2019 compared to 2778 admissions in 2020 recording a decline of 54.84%. The admissions in the Neonatal Unit were 5544 in 2019 and 3528 in 2020 with a reduction of 36.36%. The admissions in PICU in 2019 were 2685 and in 2020 the admissions decline to 2011 which is a 25.1% reduction.
Conclusion: There was a significant decline in both hospital visits and admissions in 2020 compared to those in 2019.


1. Gorbalenya AE, Enjuanes L, Ziebuhr J, et al: evolving the largest RNA virus genome. Virus research. 2006 Apr 1;117(1):17-37.
2. Mirek J, Blicharz DK. Coronaviruses in avian species. Review with focus on epidemiology and diagnosis in wild birds. J Vet Res. 2018;62(3):249-255.
3. Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al.: Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet. 2020, 395:565-574. 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30251-8
4. Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(13): 1199-1207
5. World Health Organization situation report 75 2020 [cited 13 October 2020]. Available from: 20200404-sitrep-75-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=99251b2b_4
6. World Health Organization 2020 ;WHO Director-General's statement on IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Available from: interactive-timeline#!
7. Santi L, Golinelli D, Tampieri A et al. Non-COVID-19 patients in times of pandemic: Emergency Department visits, hospitalizations and cause-specific mortality in Northern Italy. PLOS ONE 16(3):e0248995. pone.0248995 March 22, 2021
8. Ramos-Lacuey B, Aguivre MH, Gallego CC et al. ECIEN-2020 study: The effect of COVID-19 on admissions for Non-COVID-19 diseases. World J Pediatr. Feb 2021; 9:1-7
9. Pelletier JH. Rakkar J, Au A K et al. Trends in US Pediatric Hospital Admissions in 2020 Compared With the Decade Before the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Netwrkopen. 2021; 4(2):e2037227
10. Brisca G Vagelli G Tagliarini G et al. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on children with medical complexity in pediatric emergency department. M J Emerg Med. Apr 2021;42:225-227
11. Valitutty F, Zenzeri L, Mauro A et al. Effect of Population Lockdown on Emergency Room Demands in Era of COVID-19. Front Pediatr. 2020; 8:521
12. Peeters D, Kruizinga MD, van Veen M et al. The impact of lockdown on pediatric ED visits and hospital admissions during COVID-19 pandemic: A multi center analysis and review of literature. Eur JM Pediatr. Mar 2021:1-9
13. Doffer C, wetzke M, Scharff AZ et al. COVID-19 related reduction in pediatric emergency healthcare utilization-a concerning trend. BMC Pediatr. Sep 2020;20:427
14. Nourazari S, Sanchez LD. Decreased hospital admissions through emergency departments during COVID-19 Pandemic. Am J Emerg Med. Apr 2021;42:203-210
15. Zhang H, Guo Li-W, Gao Yu-Y et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Pediatric Clinical Practice in Wenzhou, China : A Retrospective Study. Fron. Pediatr.Nov:2020 0.585629
16. Matera L, Neena R, Rizzo V et al. SARS-Cov-2 Pandemic Impact on Pediatric Emergency Rooms: A Multicenter Study. Int.J.Environ.Res. Public Health Nov2020;17(23):8753
17. Chanchlani N, Buchanan F, Gill PG. Addressing the indirect effects of COVID-19 on the health of children and young peoples. CMAJ August 2020;192(32):E921-E927
18. Angulvant F, Quldali N, Yong DD et al. Covid-19 pandemic : Impact caused by school closure and national lockdown on pediatric visits and admissions for viral and non-viral infections, a time series analysis. Clin Infect Dis Jun 2020;ciaa710
How to Cite
Asghar R, Ashraf R, Saheel K, Hussain A. The Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Hospital Visits and Admissions in Paediatric Department, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi. JRMC [Internet]. 31Aug.2021 [cited 24Sep.2022];25(1):133-7. Available from:

Most read articles by the same author(s)