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Zipline-related injuries treated in US EDs, 1997-2012

Published:August 14, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2015.08.022

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To investigate the epidemiology of zipline-related injuries in the United States.

      Basic Procedures

      The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was used to examine non-fatal zipline-related injuries treated in US emergency departments (EDs) from 1997 through 2012. Sample weights were applied to calculate national estimates.

      Main Findings

      From 1997 through 2012, an estimated 16850 (95% CI, 13188-20512) zipline-related injuries were treated in US EDs. The annual injury rate per 1 million population increased by 52.3% from 7.64 (95% CI, 4.86-10.42) injuries in 2009 (the first year with a stable annual estimate) to 11.64 (95% CI, 7.83-15.45) injuries in 2012. Patients aged 0-9 years accounted for 45.0% of injuries, females made up 53.1% of injuries, and 11.7% of patients required hospitalization. Fractures accounted for the largest proportion of injuries (46.7%), and the upper extremities were the most commonly injured body region (44.1%). Falls were the most common mechanism of injury, accounting for 77.3% of injuries. Among cases where the location of the injury event was known, 30.8% of injuries occurred in a residential setting and 69.2% occurred in a public place.

      Principal Conclusions

      This study is the first to characterize the epidemiology of zipline-related injuries using a nationally representative database. The rapid increase in zipline-related injuries in recent years suggests the need for additional safety guidelines and regulations. Commercial ziplines and publicly accessible non-commercial ziplines should be subject to uniform safety standards in all states and jurisdictions across the US, and homemade ziplines should not be used.
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