BASE Jumping Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States: an Assessment of Morbidity, Emergency Department, and Inpatient Costs. Wilderness & environmental medicine Forrester, J. D., Yelorda, K., Tennakoon, L., Spain, D. A., Staudenmayer, K. 2019


BACKGROUND: BASE (building, antenna, span, earth) jumping involves jumping from fixed objects with specialized parachutes. BASE jumping is associated with less aerodynamic control and flight stability than skydiving because of the lower altitude of jumps. Injuries and fatalities are often attributed to bad landings and object collision.METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the 2010-2014 National Emergency Department Sample database, a nationally representative sample of all visits to US emergency departments (EDs). BASE jumping-associated injuries were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes [E004.0]. Outcomes evaluated included morbidity, mortality, inpatient admission, and costs. Adjusted analyses accounting for survey methodology were performed.RESULTS: After weighting, 1790 BASE-associated ED presentations were identified with 358±28 injuries annually. A total of 1313 patients (73%) were aged 18 to 44 y, and 1277 (71%) were male. Nine hundred seventy-six (55%) multiple body system injuries and 677 (38%) isolated extremity injuries were reported. There were 1588 (89%) patients discharged home from the ED; only 144 (7%) were admitted as inpatients. On multivariate logistic regression, only anatomic site of injury was associated with inpatient admission (odds ratio=0.6, P<0.001, 95% CI 0.5-0.8). Including ED and inpatient costs, BASE injuries cost the US healthcare system approximately $1.7 million annually. No deaths were identified within the limitations of the survey design.CONCLUSIONS: Although deemed one of the most dangerous extreme sports, many patients with BASE injuries surviving to arrival at definitive medical care do not require inpatient admission.

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