A summary of injuries sustained by 340 sportsmen over 9 successive weekends from 16 November 1991 to 12 January 1992 attending an accident and emergency (A&E) department is presented. Most injuries occurred in young males usually as a result of soccer or rugby. Sixty-seven per cent of patients were discharged with no further followed up in hospital. Seventy-two per cent of patients were X-rayed, 33% of X-rays showed a fracture or dislocation. A total of 193 attendees received minimal treatment, (defined as discharge with advice only, simple analgesia or strapping only with no hospital follow-up) and of these 152 were X-rayed. A total of 100 patients who received minimal treatment were selected randomly by computer to receive a follow-up letter asking about certain issues relating to their care in the A&E department. Most patients felt that the A&E Department was the most appropriate source of treatment for their sports injury, and over half attended specifically for an X-ray examination. Despite the doctors view that many of these minor injuries could have been self-treated, few patients felt able to treat future similar minor injuries themselves. They were, however, more likely to go elsewhere for treatment on subsequent occasions.
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