BACKGROUND: Youth ice hockey is an exciting sport with growing participation in the United States. Updated assessment of injury patterns is needed to determine risk factors for severe injury and develop preventive efforts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate our experience as a level 1 pediatric trauma center in Minnesota treating injured youth ice hockey players.
METHODS: Children ≤18 years old who presented to our institution from July 1997 to July 2013 with an injury sustained while participating in ice hockey were identified. Patient demographic information, injury characteristics, and outcomes including use of computed tomography, hospital admission, and procedures were obtained. Age- and gender-specific patterns were determined for injuries and outcomes.
RESULTS: Over 16 years, 168 injuries in 155 children occurred, including 26 (15.5%) injuries in girls. Extremity injuries were most common, followed by traumatic brain injury. Injuries to the spine, face, and trunk were less common. Traumatic brain injury and injuries to the spine were most common in younger children (≤14 years old) and girls, whereas injuries to the face were most common in older players (≥15 years old). Most injuries resulted from intentional contact. Admission to the hospital was needed in 65 patients, including 14 (8.3%) who needed intensive care. A major procedure was needed by 23.2% of patients because of their injuries.
CONCLUSIONS: Youth ice hockey trauma can be severe, necessitating a thorough evaluation of injured children. Injury patterns are influenced by age and gender, providing an opportunity for targeted preventive efforts.
- Accepted March 4, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics