A retrospective analysis of 6067 injuries that occurred in a large Dolomite area during the 1988–92 ski seasons is presented.
The injuries are divided into two subgroups, year and age, with adults and children showing important differences regarding injury pattern. The absolute number of injuries increased as the number skier visits increased, while the incidence of injuries decreased. Collision injuries increased in the children's group only. In the adult group, soft tissue injuries increased, due primarily to the greater number of knee sprains (46.5%), while upper extremity injuries decreased. In the children's group, fractures accounted for the majority of injuries (63%), increasing slightly for the lower leg, while head injuries represented more than 13% of total injuries.
The authors suggest the need for a greater effort in research into better materials, improved information and safety campaigns, in the physical training of skiers, in improving ski areas, in quick emergency care, and in continuous ski area patrolling.