Introduction Prior to the 2013/2014 season, the International Ski Federation (FIS) increased the helmet testing speed from 5.4 to 6.8 m/s for alpine downhill, super-G and giant slalom. Whether this increased testing speed reflects head impact velocities in real head injury situations on snow is unclear. We therefore investigated the injury mechanisms and gross head impact biomechanics in seven real head injury situations among World Cup (WC) alpine skiers. Methods We analysed nine head impacts from seven head injury videos from the FIS Injury Surveillance System, throughout nine WC seasons (2006-2015) in detail. We used commercial video-based motion analysis software to estimate head impact kinematics in two dimensions, including directly preimpact and postimpact, from broadcast video. The sagittal plane angular movement of the head was also measured using angle measurement software. Results In seven of nine head impacts, the estimated normal to slope preimpact velocity was higher than the current FIS helmet rule of 6.8 m/s (mean 8.1 (±SD 0.6) m/s, range 1.9±0.8 to 12.1±0.4 m/s). The nine head impacts had a mean normal to slope velocity change of 9.3±1.0 m/s, range 5.2±1.1 to 13.5±1.3 m/s. There was a large change in sagittal plane angular velocity (mean 43.3±2.9 rad/s (range 21.2±1.5 to 64.2±3.0 rad/s)) during impact. Conclusion The estimated normal to slope preimpact velocity was higher than the current FIS helmet rule of 6.8 m/s in seven of nine head impacts.
background: Emergency departments (EDs) are usually the first point of contact, and often the only medical service available, for patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in rural and regional areas. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been created to ensure best practice management of mTBI in EDs. Adherence to mTBI CPGs has rarely been evaluated in rural and regional areas. Aim: The aim of this paper was to assess a regional health service's adherence to their mTBI CPG. Methods: This was a 12-month retrospective audit of 1280 ED records of patients ≥16 years presenting with mTBI to a regional Australian ED. Case selection used the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset codes for suspected head injury: principal diagnosis codes (S00-T98), concussive injury recorded in diagnosis codes (S06.00-S06.05) and unintentional external cause code (V00-X59). The data were collected to determine 4-hour observation rates, CT scan rates, safe discharge and appropriate referral documentation. Results: Fewer people received a CT scan than qualified (n=245, 65.3%), only 45% had 4-hour observations recorded, safe discharge was documented in 74.1% of cases and 33% received educational resources. Discussion/conclusion: Several key elements for the management of mTBI were under-recorded, particularly 4-hour observations, safe discharge and education. Acquired brain injury clinic referrals were received in overwhelmingly fewer cases than had a CT scan (n=19, 6.3%). Overall, this study suggests that the regional health service does not currently fully adhere to the CPG and that the referral services are potentially underutilised.