Whilst we reported the other day that mountain biking’s claim to be an extreme sport was in jeopardy – thanks largely to the good safety record, we cannot say the same for snowboarding as research from the US’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has demonstrated. Thanks to Mark Watson of the Black Hills Pioneer for this information.
The CDCP released a report stating that snowboarding leads the list for outdoor related injuries – area hospitals agree. Snowboarders account for approximately 25 percent of emergency room visits nationwide, according to the report, and about 20 percent year-round at the Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital.
That number jumps up to about 75 percent of all local ER visits in the winter, said Dr. Thom Groeger, medical director for emergency at the Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital.
“We see a lot of wrist and shoulder injuries. A lot of fractured wrists,” Groeger said. “We also see dislocated shoulders, broken collar bones and some head injuries.”
When a skier or snowboarder is injured seriously on the area slopes the local ski patrol is called in right away.
“We act as first responders. We are the first care they receive,” said T.J Evans, Terry Peak’s ski patrol director. “From there, we get them off the hill. Generally the weather is kind of an issue and the quicker we can get them out of the weather and into a patrol room the better.
“From there we go into a deeper assessment into what the problem may be and to see if there are other problems. We make an assessment on whether they are going back out to ski, heading to the lodge, to the hospital with parents or if they need an ambulance to get to the hospital.”
The vast majority of injuries consist of broken bones and strains while the Deadwood hospital receives one or two critical cases a year, he said. “We see, in the winter, the majority of critical cases coming from snowmobile accidents,” he said.
Skiers do not account for as many injuries.
Other emergency room visits come from ATV accidents, mountain bike and road bike crashes, rock climbing falls, but they are vastly outnumbered by snowboarding accidents.
“ In the past couple years I’ve seen people with fractured backs and paralysis. That’s the worst I’ve seen, Gilbert said.
Groeger said that the majority of injured snowboarders are male, between 10 and 25 years old and are injured while jumping, but added that it does depend on the level of experience.
Doctors encouraged all downhillers to wear protective gear.
I think the YouTube clip below from zayl1315 clearly demonstrates why there are so many accidents – too many nutcakes!! Personally though I have great respect for those amongst us who push themselves to the limit.