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Approximately 375 000 people, living in Western Germany purchase special skiing insurance. More than 95% of the skiing accidents that happened in this population during the winters from 1980 and 1981 through 1983 and 1984 were registered and analyzed. This study includes accidents only if they occurred during Alpine skiing, if they were not caused by avalanches, and if the patients had to spend more than 24 h in the hospital for treatment or observation on behalf of torso trauma or polytrauma. One-hundred sixty-seven patients were finally selected by the following criteria: 71% were male, 29% female. The patient's age ranged from 9 to 72 years with an average of 32.2 years. Most of them were experienced skiers who skied for longer than 15 years and 3 to 4 weeks per winter.
Injuries of the genitourinary tract were found in 34% of the cases, which was surprisingly high, as compared to injuries of 15 to 18% in other trauma groups (traffic accidents, and so forth) where the patients were selected according to the same criteria. Fifty-two percent of all traumas were Grade AIS-3, 32% of Grade AIS-2, and 14% of Grade AIS-4 injuries, according to the “Abbreviated Injury Scale.” The average patient spent 19 days in the hospital, whereas 9% of them had to stay for more than one month.
skiing accidents, abdominal trauma, urogenital trauma, kidney lesion, skiing population of West Germany, treatment costs, economy
Assistant professor, JM-University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg,
Head of the Research Center for Skiing Accidents, German Skiing Association, Munich,