Top 5 winter activities to land you in the ER

December 22, 2011, Loyola University Health System

(Medical Xpress) -- The  first day of winter was Wednesday, Dec. 21, and many states are bracing for a season of snow and ice. Broken bones from snowboarding and sledding top the list of common visits to the Emergency Department (ED) during the winter months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of all emergency hospital visits are attributed to snowboarding accidents, and half of all cases were for broken bones and sprains.

Chicagoans embrace winter with gusto largely because of the great love for hockey, sledding and ice skating, said Gottlieb Memorial Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Daryl O'Connor, who cared for U.S. Olympic ski and winter-sports athletes in 2002 in Salt Lake City. Dr. O'Connor is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and now specializes in sports medicine in the Orthopaedic Department at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System.

Here are Dr. O'Connor's evaluations of the top five winter sports in terms of injuries:  

1. Sledding: More than 700,000 injuries are reported each year in the United States due to sledding. More than 30 percent are head injuries, caused by collisions, Dr. O'Connor said.

2. Hockey: Lacerations, as well as neck, shoulder and knee injuries are common in hockey. Many injuries are caused through contact with another player, the ice, a puck or actual skate blade, he said.

3. Ice skating: Injuries to the wrist, head and neck are most common and most injuries are caused by falls, Dr. O'Connor said.

4. Snowboarding: Wrist and elbow injuries are caused by falls on outstretched hands, he said.

5. Skiing: Knees really take a pounding and injuries are often caused by the extreme twisting force propelled by the skis, he said.

Snitching on Skitching

This is not even a sport; it's just being foolish, Dr. O'Connor said of the practice in neighborhoods of daredevil teens grabbing a car's rear bumper and sliding on their feet, or being pulled by ropes on inner tubes or sleds through icy streets. "In addition to broken bones, neck and shoulder injuries, young people can suffer fatal head trauma. Please, resist the skitch at all costs."

Explore further: Sledding injuries: a significant cause of hospitalizations, injuries during winter months

Related Stories

Sledding injuries: a significant cause of hospitalizations, injuries during winter months

October 15, 2011
In new research, 30 percent of children hospitalized following a sledding injury suffered significant head injuries, and 10 percent of these children had a permanent disability. The research, presented Saturday, Oct. 15, ...

Recommended for you

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Low-cost anti-hookworm drug boosts female farmers' physical fitness

April 19, 2018
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nanobanano
not rated yet Dec 22, 2011
How about resist all of this foolishness.

If we had a ban on all these foolish activities, it would keep medical costs down.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.