This research explores snowsport head injury trends in western Canadian resorts over the decade 2008-2018.
Ecological study.
Head-injury and participation data on alpine skiing and snowboarding (snowsports) was provided by the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) for 2008-2018. Injury reports from the ski patrol of 52 western Canadian resorts were analysed. 29 resorts were included where there was both injury and participation data for at least 8 out of 10 seasons, resulting in analysis of 10,371 reports. Data was imported into SPSS 24 for analysis using descriptive statistics, chi-squared analysis, odds ratios and linear regression.
Over the decade: the head injury rate was 0.205 injuries per thousand skier days. Head injuries were 9-10% of all injuries, significantly lower for skiers (8.3%) than snowboarders (10.9%). There were no significant differences in helmet-usage rates of injured and non-injured populations. 80.6% of injured participants wore a helmet, those wearing a helmet were 8% more likely to report a head injury than those not wearing a helmet. There was little variation in the proportion of head injuries reported as concussion, but a 50% reduction in ambulance or helicopter transport, a head-injury severity proxy. There was a significant relationship between the proportion of snowsport participants who were snowboarders and the head-injury rate.
Head injuries remain a rare event. There has been a decline in the severity of reported head injuries which may be a function of a decline in the proportion of snowboarders in snowsports.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.