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Protective and risk factors in amateur equestrians and description of injury patterns: A retrospective data analysis and a case - control survey

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Author(s): Hasler Rebecca | Gyssler Lena | Benneker Lorin | Martinolli Luca | Schötzau Andreas | Zimmermann Heinz | Exadaktylos Aristomenis

Journal: Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes
ISSN 1752-2897

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background In Switzerland there are about 150,000 equestrians. Horse related injuries, including head and spinal injuries, are frequently treated at our level I trauma centre. Objectives To analyse injury patterns, protective factors, and risk factors related to horse riding, and to define groups of safer riders and those at greater risk Methods We present a retrospective and a case-control survey at conducted a tertiary trauma centre in Bern, Switzerland. Injured equestrians from July 2000 - June 2006 were retrospectively classified by injury pattern and neurological symptoms. Injured equestrians from July-December 2008 were prospectively collected using a questionnaire with 17 variables. The same questionnaire was applied in non-injured controls. Multiple logistic regression was performed, and combined risk factors were calculated using inference trees. Results Retrospective survey A total of 528 injuries occured in 365 patients. The injury pattern revealed as follows: extremities (32%: upper 17%, lower 15%), head (24%), spine (14%), thorax (9%), face (9%), pelvis (7%) and abdomen (2%). Two injuries were fatal. One case resulted in quadriplegia, one in paraplegia. Case-control survey 61 patients and 102 controls (patients: 72% female, 28% male; controls: 63% female, 37% male) were included. Falls were most frequent (65%), followed by horse kicks (19%) and horse bites (2%). Variables statistically significant for the controls were: Older age (p = 0.015), male gender (p = 0.04) and holding a diploma in horse riding (p = 0.004). Inference trees revealed typical groups less and more likely to suffer injury. Conclusions Experience with riding and having passed a diploma in horse riding seem to be protective factors. Educational levels and injury risk should be graded within an educational level-injury risk index.
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