Pinyao Rui, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2010 to 2016 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to describe emergency department visits made by patients aged 5 to 24 years for injuries sustained during sports and recreational activities.
The researchers identified approximately 2.7 million emergency department visits for sports injuries during 2010 to 2016. Football, basketball, pedal cycling, soccer, and ice or roller skating or skateboarding were the top five most frequent activities that caused emergency department visits for sports injuries (14.1, 12.5, 9.9, 7.1, and 6.9 percent, respectively). With increasing age, visits for injuries to the upper extremities decreased while those for injuries to the lower extremities increased. An imaging service was ordered or provided for about three in four emergency department visits for sports injuries. Compared with all other age groups, computed tomography scans were ordered or provided at more visits for patients aged 15 to 19 years. Analgesics were given or prescribed at 63.9 percent of emergency department visits, with the percentage increasing with age.