Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 11(2) March 2008 : 128-128.doi:10.12927/hcq.2008.19622

Facts-at-a-Glance: National Trauma Registry: New Data on All-Terrain Vehicles


[No abstract available for this article.]
  1. In just under a decade, hospitalizations related to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Canada increased by 25%, rising from 3,296 in 1996-1997 to 4,104 in 2004-2005. ATVs include snowmobiles and all other off-road vehicles (i.e. two-, three- and four-wheeled vehicles).
  2. Snowmobile-related hospitalizations decreased by almost 20% over nine years, while hospitalizations for injuries related to off-road vehicles increased by two-thirds (66%), rising from nearly 1,700 admissions in 1996-1997 to more than 2,800 in 2004-2005.
  3. In 2004-2005, the majority of those admitted to hospital for an injury related to an ATV had multiple injuries, and more than half had fractures of the upper or lower limbs.
  4. The proportion of head injuries was considerably higher for those whose injury involved an off-road vehicle (19%) compared to a snowmobile (12%), with those admitted for a snowmobile-related injury more likely to suffer from a fractured vertebra, rib or sternum (26% compared to 20% for off-road vehicle admissions).
  5. A person hospitalized for ATV-related injuries in 2004-2005 was, on average, 32 years old. This is considerably younger than the average age for all trauma admissions to hospital in Canada for the same year (53 years). In each age group, males accounted for the majority of injury admissions, with the largest proportion of injuries seen among 15- to 19-year-olds, followed by 20- to 24-year-olds. These two age groups accounted for more than one-fourth (29%) of all ATV-related injury admissions.
  6. Overall, between 3% and 5% of all injuries requiring hospitalization are classified as severe trauma and require treatment in a specialized facility. Among ATV injuries, 10% were classified as severe in 2004-2005.
  7. Snowmobile-related injuries accounted for 40% of winter sports and recreation-related injuries in a specialized trauma unit in 2004-2005, compared to snowboarding (24%), skiing (19%), hockey (11%), tobogganing (7%) and ice-skating (3%).
  8. Off-road vehicles accounted for 25% of admissions for summer sports and recreation-related severe injuries in 2004-2005, second only to cycling (43%).
  9. In those cases where blood-alcohol concentration was recorded, 27% of these severe injury ATV incidents involved alcohol levels above the legal limit of .08%. Alcohol use above the legal limit was a factor in 23% of specialized trauma unit admissions for snowmobiling incidents and 28% of incidents involving off-road vehicles.
  10. In addition to the injuries that resulted in an overnight stay in hospital, in 2004-2005, there were 7,109 emergency department (ED) visits in Ontario for injuries related to ATVs, translating to more than 19 visits to the ED by Ontarians a day. Of these, 4,843 (68%) were due to injury resulting from off-road vehicles. The vast majority of all ED visits were by males (80%) and occurred during the months of January to March for snowmobiles and July to September for off-road vehicles.


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