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Serious winter sport injuries in children and adolescents requiring hospitalization

To describe the epidemiology of serious winter sports-related injuries resulting in hospitalization in children and adolescents, we prospectively collected and analyzed records of all winter sports-related injuries requiring hospitalization at our respective institutions from 1996 to 2000. We identified 101 patients with a mean age of 10.7 years, of whom 68% were male and 32% female. Skiers accounted for 71% and snowboarders 26% of injuries; 3% of injuries were snowmobile-or luge-related. Leading mechanisms of injury were ground level falls (50%), crashes into trees, (18%), and falls from ski lift (13%). Approximately 26% of the patients met criteria for trauma-team activation. Leading diagnoses were head injury (20%), femur fracture (18%), and concussion (11%). Five patients required admission to the intensive care unit. The median injury severity score (ISS) was 7; 8% of patients had an ISS score > 15. Abbreviated Injury Scale-1990 scores of ≥ 3 were noted in 34% of the patients. We conclude that Injuries sustained through participation in winter sports may be severe, especially in the case of injuries involving the head. Injury-prevention strategies should focus on head injuries. (Am J Emerg Med 2003;21:95-99. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Journal of Emergency Medicine Elsevier
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