Patterns of injury of mounted and unmounted equestrians
Equestrian injury and subsequent hospitalization is common, with 18.7 injuries per 100 000 horse-related interactions. This study aims to investigate the patterns of injury in mounted and unmounted equestrians.
Restrospective data was obtained from a single Level 1 trauma center in an area of dense equine-human interaction in America. The study had 284 participants, where 208 participants were injured while mounted and 76 unmounted.
Mounted injuries most commonly occurred from falling off, and leg (144 cases) and chest (82 cases) injuries were most common. In contrast to injuries occurring in riders, kick and crushing mechanisms were most common in unmounted equestrians, resulting in injuries to the face (38 cases) and abdomen (30 cases). Head trauma was frequently seen in both groups (75 cases in the mounted group, and 26 cases in the unmounted group), however the use of a helmet was only confirmed in 12 cases (6%). Three deaths were recorded, 2 of which were due to severe head injury after a kick.
This study of injuries in mounted and unmounted equestrians show different patterns of injury, both in cause as well as location of injury. The study advises further measures to improve the safety in interactions between horse and riders, and advocates that improvements in helmets and their use can result in as much as a 40% absolute risk reduction in head injuries.
> From: Carmichael et al., Injury Int.J. Care Injured 45 (2014) 1479-1483. All rights reserved to Elsevier. Click here for the online summary.