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Young hunters most likely to be injured using tree stands, say UAB researchers
Date:12/30/2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Young hunters between the ages of 15 and 34 are the most likely to suffer serious injuries in tree stand-related incidents, say researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center for Injury Sciences (CIS). The same researchers' findings, though, suggest that such injuries are preventable.

The study, presented online this week in the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection and Critical Care, reports that men were twice as likely as women to be injured, and younger hunters more likely than older ones. Hunters aged between 15-24 had injury rates of 55.7 per 100,000, and those aged 25-34 averaged 61 injuries per 100,000. Hunters over 65 had injury rates of only 22.4 per 100,000.

"The elevated injury rate among younger hunters is significant, because debilitating injuries in younger people are far more devastating than for older individuals because of the potential long-term effects that create both physical and financial hardships for patients and their families," said Gerald McGwin, Jr., MS, Ph.D., associate director for research at the CIS and senior investigator for the study.

Using data drawn from the 2000-07 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the UAB researchers report that the number of Americans hunting has remained stable over the past decade, with 12.5 million people engaging in hunting in 2006. There were an estimated 46,860 injuries related to tree stand use between 2000 and 2007.

The study found that the most common injuries were fractures, mostly likely to occur in the hip or lower extremities, followed by injuries to the trunk, shoulder and upper extremities. Head and spinal cord injuries were less common, but still significant. McGwin said such injuries are consistent with other studies that demonstrate a similar injury pattern, explained by hunters trying to l
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Contact: Bob Shepard
bshep@uab.edu
205-934-8934
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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