Analysis of an injuries database in Italian ski resorts

Igiene e Sanità Pubblica 2022; 80(3): 111-123

Saverio Giampaoli1, Lorenzo Lupi1, Luigi Faccia2, Antonio Tessitore1, Sabrina Demarie1

1 University of Rome ‘‘Foro Italico’’, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Piazza Lauro De Bosis, 6, 00135 Rome, Italy
2 Scuola Italiana Sci Assergi – Gran Sasso, s.s. 17 bis, 79, 67100 Assergi (AQ), Italy

Italy is one of the main destinations for winter tourism. Specifically, the country can currently count on more than 5.700 km of ski runs, served by more than 1.700 lift facilities.

The purpose of this study has been the analysis of injuries in ski resorts in a continuous period spanning over several seasons (17 years). In addition, the possible effect of safety law enforcements, introduced in the selected period, were considered.

Material and methods
A ski injuries database, prepared as a duty of policemen involved in rescue activity and consisting of 246616 records of injuries for the period from 7th December 2002 to 31st December 2019, has been analysed for qualitative and quantitative variables.

The majority of injuries (58%) occurred on slopes with medium difficulties. After the introduction of national ski safety law (Law 363/2003), a strong diffusion of protective helmet has been noticed. The adoption of the helmet has significantly reduced cranio-facial injuries both in children and in adults. Moreover, no death events were recorded in the database after the introduction of Law 363/2003. The diffusion of ski accident insurance programs is slowly increasing, even if in the year 2019 approximately 38% of skiers still didn’t have an insurance program.

Discussion and Conclusions
It is possible to speculate that the introduction of a national ski safety law had a positive effect on injuries reduction. At the same time, collected data underlined several critical points that seem, at least in part, addressed by the law revision performed in 2021.

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