Authors : G. Barucq, O. Jenkins, T. Mokni, S. Marcé, J-M. Campagne, D. Le Jeune.
Centre Hospitalier de la Côte Basque. Bayonne. France.


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Since 1956, surfing has undergone a prolific growth in France attracting an ever-growing number of youth followers (approximately 200,000 surfers in France).

Democratisation of surfing is likely to promote accidents. There was not any objective data concerning the accidentology associated with the practice of surfing in France. We have studied in a prospective manner surf-related accidents of patients admitted to Emergency Departments during the summer of 2006.

This study is limited to accidents sustained or provoked by surfers, across the Basque Coast in the south-west of France. We crosschecked the information from a questionnaire completed by emergency physicians for each surfing-related accident with the telephone calls to the Medical Regulation Centre and with the files completed by the Beach Lifeguards.

350 admissions to emergency departments for surfing-related accidents were recorded between 21st June and 30th September 2006.
Surf-related accidents were more prevalent amongst the youth population with a mean age of 26,2 years. 22% of patients were female. 59% of accidents occurred when the surfer made contact with his own board. In 61% of cases, the surfer presented with a laceration. The majority of trauma affected the head (50,9%). We encountered 3 severe eye traumas and 3 cervical spine fractures.

Surfing is the most accident-prone activity around the beaches of the Basque Coast in summer. The majority of accidents could be prevented by applying simple measures and with promotion of a campaign of surfer awareness.Key Terms: Surfing, Traumatology, Lacerations, Head injury, Helmet, Prevention.

A propos de l'auteur :

Surf Prevention est le site sur le Surf, la Sécurité, la Santé et l'Environnement.


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