Objectives: Assess the context and characteristics of hockey injuries, and evaluate the probable effects of regulations concerning mandatory use of head and neck protective equipment.
Design: Descriptive study of 247 patients suffering from hockey injuries. Cases were recorded at the emergency room of the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, in Quebec City, from October 1 1991 to April 30 1992. Injury characteristics are presented by categories, and "Organized hockey on skates" (HPO) is the only category where protective equipment is mandatory.
Results: Nearly 42% of consultations were related to non-HPO. In the HPO injuries 15.4% were head injuries whereas in other categories, head injuries represented 31.4%, 33.3% and 44.0% of total injuries.
Discussion: Data suggest that regulation imposing mandatory head and neck protection should be maintained in the HPO category because of its apparent preventive effect. Accordingly, implementation could also be considered in other categories.