Background: Sports injuries that result in major trauma or death are associated with significant health care burden and societal costs. An understanding of changes in injury trends, and their drivers, is needed to implement policy aimed at risk reduction and injury prevention. To date, population-level reporting has not been available regarding trends in serious sport and recreation injuries anywhere in Australia over such an extended period, nor have any studies of this length captured comprehensive, long-term data on all sports-related major trauma internationally. Purpose: To describe the incidence of sport and active recreation injuries resulting in major trauma or death over a 10-year period (July 2005 to June 2015) in the state of Victoria, Australia. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiological study. Methods: All sport and active recreation–related major trauma cases and deaths in Victoria, Australia, over a 10-year period were extracted from the population-level Victorian State Trauma Registry and the National Coroners Information System. Poisson regression analysis was used to examine trends in the incidence of sport and active recreation–related major trauma and death. Results: The 10-year study period entailed 2847 nonfatal major trauma cases and 614 deaths (including 96 in-hospital deaths). The highest frequencies of major trauma cases and deaths were in cycling, motor sports, and equestrian activities. The participation-adjusted major trauma and death rate was 12.2 per 100,000 participants per year over the study period. An 8% increase was noted in the rate of nonfatal major trauma (incident rate ratio [IRR], 1.08; 95% CI, 1.06-1.10; P <.001) and a 7% decrease in the death rate (IRR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.90-0.97; P <.001). Significant increases were found in the rates of major trauma (including deaths) in equestrian activities, motor sports, and cycling. Conclusion: The death rate from sport and active recreation decreased by more than half over the course of 10 years in Victoria, while the rate of nonfatal major trauma almost doubled. This increase is largely attributable to equestrian activities, motor sports, and cycling. Study findings highlight the need to prioritize investments in the prevention of trauma in these activities.
- wounds and injuries