Over a one year period, 2270 sports injuries were seen in the Accident and Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. This represented 3.9% of the total new patients seen in that year. Football and rugby were the most frequent sports responsible for injury. Seventy-eight per cent of injured persons were 26 or under and 88.7% of injuries occurred in men. The two months with the most sports injuries were September and February; 74% (1683) patients stated they trained at least once a week and 85% (1895) played the sport in which they were injured at least once a week. Players who did not train were less likely to incur a severe injury than those who did. Fourteen per cent of the injuries were the result of foul play, but again foul play was less likely to cause a serious injury; 41% of injuries were to the lower limb; 45% of injuries were fractures, dislocations, lacerations and head injuries; 7% of patients required admission to hospital and 22% were referred to a clinic. Seventy-seven per cent of the referrals were to the orthopaedic department. The relevance of these figures to the accident and emergency workload is discussed.
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