Snowmobile Injuries in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador: An 18-year Review
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The charts of 310 consecutive patients with snowmobile injuries admitted to Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony, Newfoundland, during the years 1969 through 1986 were reviewed in order to determine the causes and possible ways of prevention of these injuries. There were 237 males and 73 females. Most patients were less than 30 years of age (73%). Drivers represented 57% of the injured. Falling off the machine and collisions were responsible for 60% of the injuries; 3.0% were due to mechanical failure of the snowmobile. The lower limbs and head and neck regions were most commonly affected (42.6 and 27.6%, respectively); less than 10% of the patients were wearing helmets at the time of the accident. We conclude that the human factor was responsible for the majority of the injuries. We recommend enforcement of legislation, intensification of public education about the hazards of driving snowmobiles, and modifications in the design of the engine, especially to provide increased protection for the lower limbs.
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