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Surfing injuries

  • Andrew Nathanson
    Affiliations
    From the *Departments of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and †The Miriam Hospital, the ‡Injury Prevention Center at Brown University, Providence, RI; and the §State of Hawai'i Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
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  • Philip Haynes
    Affiliations
    From the *Departments of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and †The Miriam Hospital, the ‡Injury Prevention Center at Brown University, Providence, RI; and the §State of Hawai'i Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
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  • Daniel Galanis
    Affiliations
    From the *Departments of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and †The Miriam Hospital, the ‡Injury Prevention Center at Brown University, Providence, RI; and the §State of Hawai'i Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      The purpose of this study was to describe the relative frequency, pattern, and mechanism of surfing injuries. Descriptive data of surfing injuries was collected by using a Web site-based interactive multiple choice survey. Data was collected from May 1998 to August 1999. Completed surveys were obtained from 1,348 individuals reporting 1,237 acute injuries and 477 chronic injuries. Lacerations accounted for 42% of all acute injuries, contusions 13%, sprains/strains 12%, and fractures 8%. Thirty-seven percent of acute injuries were to the lower extremity, and 37% to the head and neck. Fifty-five percent of injuries resulted from contact with ones own board, 12% from another surfer's board, and 17% from the sea floor. Sixty-seven percent of acute surfing injuries are caused by board contact. Older surfers, more expert surfers, and those surfing large waves have a higher relative risk for significant injury. Equipment modifications are suggested that may decrease the risk for injury. (Am J Emerg Med 2002;20:155-160. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.)

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