Men are 12 times more likely to have a SCI injury while diving…in Brazil
Scientists took a retrospective look at 1324 spinal trauma cases that resulted in hospital admission between 1991 and 2006 in Brazil. Patients ranged in age between 14 and 65 years. Amazingly 10.6 percent of the cases resulted from diving.
Males (N=129) outnumbered females (N=11) in a proportion of 12:1 (mean age: 28.62 years). This is consistent with general statistics involving SCI.
The cervical spine region was the most affected area (92.1%) and 45% of the cases presented with tetraplegia.
On admission, neurologically complete lesions accounted for 32.1% of the overall cases and 45.7% were neurologically intact. During hospitalization, patients with incomplete neurological impairment had shorter lengths of stay and showed more neurological improvement than those with complete lesions (P=0.26 and 64.5 versus 2.2%, P<0.0001).
The authors conclude: Diving spine injuries have a high tetraplegia rate. Neurological recovery and shorter length of stay are associated with incomplete lesions.
Diving is extremely dangerous. It should only be done in safe, supervised settings. Unfortunately, sometimes even the most cautious children and young people are injured when pools or maintained waterways are defective or deceptive.