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In Tärnaby/Hemavan, a ski area in Lapland/Sweden, all downhill skiing-injured patients examined at the local medical facility, Tärnaby Sjukstuga, were registered 1990–92. A questionnaire was filled out, the patients' expiration breath was tested by an Alcolmeter SD-2®, and a one-year follow-up was performed by questionnaire. Four hundred eighty-one patients (59% male), mean age 22.9, were included. Injured parts of the body were knee 28%, lower leg and head 10.8%, thumb 8.3%, and forearm 8.1%. The most common diagnoses were fractures 23.6% and knee sprains 23.2%. Classification according to the abbreviated injury scale (AIS) 1 to 5 resulted in 95% as 1–2, 5% as 3–4; one skier had an AIS of 5. On the day of accident 1.1% had used alcohol compared to 5% in a control group of 60 noninjured skiers. The one-year follow-up questionnaire was answered by 58%; 29% of the respondents had symptoms.
Alcohol is a factor of no importance in the incidence of ski injuries at Tärnaby/Hemavan. One third of the follow-up group had enduring symptoms.
downhill skiing injury, injury rate, questionnaire, alcohol, long-term injury, sick leave
Medical doctor, Tärnaby Sjukstuga Clinic, Tärnaby,
Medical doctor, University Hospital, Umeå,