Injury surveillance of head, neck and facial injuries in collegiate ice hockey players, 2009-2014
Methods: Ice Hockey data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance Program (NCAA-ISP) during the 2009/10-2013/14 academic years were analyzed. Fifty-seven men’s and 26 women’s programs provided 106 and 51 team-seasons of data, respectively. Injury rates per 1000 athlete-exposures (AE) and rate ratios (RR) were reported.
Results: The NCAA-ISP reported 496 and 131 head/face/neck injuries in men’s and women’s ice hockey, respectively. The head/face/neck injury rate was higher in men (RR=1.51; 95%CI:1.25-1.84), particularly when restricted to injuries due to checking (RR=5.08; 95%CI:2.89-8.93). Concussion rates did not differ by between men and women (RR=1.05; 95%CI: 0.82-1.35); however, there was a significant increase for men vs. women when we restricted our analysis to checking-related concussions (RR=2.60; 95%CI:1.34-5.06). While 166 lacerations were reported in men, no lacerations were reported in women. Checking was the most common cause of lacerations in men.
Conclusion: Checking contributes to higher rates of head/face/neck injuries in male collegiate hockey players, particularly concussions and lacerations. Safety initiatives and prevention programming should aim to reduce checking-related injuries.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Describe types of head/neck/face injuries incurred by collegiate ice hockey players in academic years 2009/2010-2013/2014. Describe situations and mechanisms that led to head/neck/face injuries in collegiate ice hockey players in academic years 2009/2010-2013/2014. Compare head/neck/face injuries in men vs. women and practice vs. play. Evaluate the role that checking may play in type and severity of head/neck/face injuries.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a member of the ICEHS Sports and Recreation section. I have published on other issues of sports injury surveillance and this will be my second APHA presentation on injuries to college athletes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.