Many “side effects” of the COVID-19 pandemic could have been anticipated due to the nature of the infection—eg, exacerbation of existing lung problems—or social distancing measures, such as an increase in depression and anxiety. Then again, others are likely unforeseen. The Canadian Urological Association Journal published an article detailing an increase in male genitalia injuries coinciding with a spike in COVID-19 cases. While there was no solid conclusion as to why this occurred, the authors conjectured that the type of injuries and related mechanisms suggest patients are adapting to ongoing pandemic conditions by altering their lifestyles (testicular rupture while riding an all-terrain vehicle as more patients seek outdoor recreation, or more cases of penile pain and fractures attributed to greater frequency of sexual intercourse). We’re already aware that many patients are avoiding the emergency room at this time, so it stands to reason that patients with such injuries might consider a trip to the urgent care center a better option. Be prepared to assess patients with these types of complaints, and establish a referral relationship with area urologists for patients who need specialty care.
Be Prepared: Male Genitalia Injuries Are Among the ‘Collateral Damage’ Attributed to the Pandemic