Injuries represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children and adolescents. In patients aged 10 to 19 years, sports injuries are the most common type seen in both outpatient and inpatient settings and account for the greatest financial cost.1 A Massachusetts survey in the early 1980s found that one of every 14 teenagers required hospital treatment for a sports injury during a 1-year period and that 3% of sports injuries required hospital admission.2 Some early surveys of children hospitalized for injuries failed even to mention sports injuries,3 and despite increasing attention to these injuries over the past several years, little epidemiologic data exist concerning hospitalization and discharge outcome. The purpose of this study was to better characterize youth sports injuries requiring hospitalization and to evaluate the utility of the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) in predicting discharge outcome.
Methods. The Southeast Child Safety Institute maintains a