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September 1993

Serious Sports Injuries Requiring Hospitalization Seen in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Presented in part at the 32nd Annual Meeting of The Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Baltimore, Md, May 5, 1992.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(9):1001-1004. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160330091027

• Objective.  —To define the spectrum of serious sports injuries requiring hospitalization seen in a pediatric emergency department.

Design.  —Trauma registry and retrospective chart reviews.

Setting.  —Emergency department, Children's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Study Participants.  —One hundred forty-two patients with sports injuries presenting to the emergency department and requiring hospitalization over 2 years.

Measurements/Results.  —Serious sports injuries accounted for 13% of admissions for trauma, 0.6% of visits to the emergency department for trauma, and approximately 0.14% of total encounters. Injuries included fractures (77%), abdominal injuries (7%), multiple trauma (5%), cerebral contusions or hemorrhages (4%), and dislocations (3%). The most frequently injured areas were the extremities (69%), head and neck (16%), and abdomen (3%). Compared with nonsports injuries requiring hospitalization, sports injuries occurred in older patients (11.5 vs 7.3 years, P<.001) and more often in males (83% vs 64%, P<.001). Sports injuries also resulted in higher Injury Severity Scores (10 vs 8.8, P=.021) and in more fractures (77% vs 51%, P<.001) and neck injuries (4% vs 1 %, P=.002).

Conclusion.  —Serious sports injuries evaluated in the emergency department affect predominantly male teenagers and result predominantly in fractures involving the extremities. The spectrum of injuries is dissimilar to that resulting from other mechanisms.(AJDC. 1993;147:1001-1004)