A description of the severity of equestrian-related injuries (ERIs) using clinical parameters and patient-reported outcomes

Alexander Papachristos, Elton R Edwards, Adam Stuart Dowrick, Cameron McRae Gosling

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Introduction Despite a number of injury prevention campaigns and interventions, horse riding continues to be a dangerous activity, resulting in more accidents per hour than motorcycling, skiing and football. Injuries are often serious, with one in four patients requiring admission to hospital. This study aims to describe the severity of equestrian-related injuries (ERIs) using both clinical parameters and patient-reported outcomes. Patients and methods A retrospective study of all patients aged =18 years admitted to The Alfred Hospital between January 2003 and January 2008 with an ERI was performed. Specific clinical data were extracted from the medical record. In addition, a questionnaire was conducted identifying the details of the accident, the required recovery time and levels of ongoing pain and physical disability. Results During the study period 172 patients met the inclusion criteria. There were three deaths (2 ). Eighty-two patients (48 ) suffered head injuries. Forty-one patients (24 ) were admitted to the ICU and 31 patients (18 ) required mechanical ventilation. On discharge, 41 patients (24 ) required transfer to a sub-acute rehabilitation facility. One-hundred-and-twenty-four patients (72 ) completed the questionnaire. Thirty-nine respondents (31 ) were not wearing a helmet. Among patients injured for more than 6 months, 38 (35 ) still experienced moderate or severe pain or disability. Ninety-five patients had returned to work at the time of review, among which 47(50 ) required longer than 6 months to recover, and 40 (42 ) returned at a reduced capacity. Conclusions The clinical and patient-reported outcomes of ERIs requiring hospital admission are poor. Persistent pain and disability are common, even up to 5 years post-injury. A large proportion of patients required longer than 6 months to return to work and many return at a reduced capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1484-1487
Number of pages4
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

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