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Journal Article

Citation

Grossman MD, Saffle JR, Thomas F, Tremper B. J. Trauma 1989; 29(12): 1705-1709.

Affiliation

Department of Surgery, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City 84132.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1989, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

2593202

Abstract

Medical aspects of avalanche accidents have apparently not been studied in the American literature. Records from the Utah Avalanche Forecasting Center (UAFC) for the period 1982-1987 were reviewed and compared with similar data from Europe and Canada. One hundred forty-five avalanches involving 188 individuals were reported to the UAFC. Ninety-one (48%) people were caught, of whom 21 required medical attention. Twelve of the 91 died (13%) and nine were injured (10%). Eleven of 12 nonsurvivors and four of nine survivors were completely buried. Evidence of major blunt trauma was present in nine of ten nonsurvivors and all nine survivors. Asphyxia and blunt trauma were the most common causes of death; hypothermia appeared to have played only a minor role. These findings were similar to results obtained in Europe and Canada.

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