Head injuries in skiers: an analysis of injury severity and outcome

Brain Inj. 2001 May;15(5):429-34. doi: 10.1080/02699050010005922.


To examine the incidence, injury severity, and outcomes of persons hospitalized as a result of ski-related head trauma, a cross-sectional survey was carried out from the Colorado traumatic brain injury database. This database is an ongoing population-based statewise surveillance system, compiled by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Participants were Colorado residents who sustained a head injury while skiing at Colorado ski resorts and hospitalized over three full ski seasons (1994--1997). Injury severity measures included GCS, ISS, AIS, and presence/absence of intracranial lesion, skull fracture and amnesia. Outcome measures included GOS and hospital length of stay. Mean injury severity scores were as follows: GCS 14.51 (SD=0.99), AIS 2.98 (0.99) and ISS 13.17 (6.71). Twenty-four per cent sustained skull fracture, 39% had intracranial lesions, and 79% demonstrated amnesia. Mean length of stay was 4.31 days (10.58). Head injury incidence was 0.77 per 100 000 ski visits (age-specific range=0.17--1.91). Males were more likely to have a skull fracture and evidence of intracranial lesion. Finally, children and older adults were at increased risk of ski-related head trauma, suggesting head injury prevention programmes geared toward these age groups should be emphasized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Skull Fractures / epidemiology
  • Skull Fractures / etiology*
  • Skull Fractures / pathology