Document Detail

Let it snow: How snowfall and injury mechanism affect ski and snowboard injuries in Vail, Colorado, 2011-2012.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23887567     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
BACKGROUND: Current research examining the impact of mechanism of injury and daily snowfall amounts on injury severity among skiers and snowboarders is limited. The purpose of this study was to define correlations between injury mechanism and daily snowfall on injury patterns and severity among skiers and snowboarders.
METHODS: This observational study analyzed daily snowfall measurements coupled with trauma admissions during the 2011 and 2012 ski seasons from a Level III trauma center servicing a large North American ski resort. Post hoc adjusted analyses and multivariate modeling was used to determine independent predictors of increased injury severity.
RESULTS: Six hundred forty-four trauma admissions were analyzed, with primary research considerations detailing the variances in injury severity resulting from collisions with other skiers or snowboarders and daily total snowfall. Findings demonstrated that collisions were independently associated with increased (1) injury severity (Injury Severity Score [ISS ≥ 16]) (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0-7.6; p < 0.001), (2) thoracic injury severity (Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS] score ≥ 3) (OR, 7.5; 95% CI, 3.7-15.0; p < 0.001), and (3) renal injuries (OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.2-8.1; p = 0.017) as well as and axial skeleton fractures (OR, 4.5; 95% CI, 2.6-7.7; p < 0.001). In addition, mean ISS was significantly higher in the setting of a collision when compared with a fall (8.6 vs. 5.8; p < 0.001). Findings regarding total snowfall demonstrate a negative correlation between snowfall and injury severity (r = -0.08, p = 0.05); the majority (65.5%) of injuries were sustained when there was 1 inch or less of recent snowfall, and a snowfall total of 2 inches or less was independently associated with increased injury severity (ISS ≥ 16) (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.1-9.1; p = 0.036).
CONCLUSION: Collisions between snowsport enthusiasts and total trace snowfall predict an increase in injury severity among alpine skiers and snowboarders. Findings from this project may lead to an increased understanding of predictive factors contributing to injury, alter the diagnostic evaluation of patients, provide educational opportunities for alpine enthusiasts, and enhance resort safety initiatives tailored to ambient conditions.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Epidemiologic study, level III.
S Jason Moore; Dana Knerl
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of trauma and acute care surgery     Volume:  75     ISSN:  2163-0763     ISO Abbreviation:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Publication Date:  2013 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-07-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101570622     Medline TA:  J Trauma Acute Care Surg     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  334-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
From the Trauma Services, Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail, Colorado.
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