Types, Patterns and Outcomes of Personal Watercraft- Related Trauma
Background: Personal watercraft (PWC) - related injuries have increased significantly as well as its popularity.
Aim: We aimed to describe types, patterns and outcomes of PWC injuries in Qatar.
Subjects and Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted to identify patients admitted and treated for PWC-related injuries between 2008 and 2014. Data included patients demographics, mechanism of injury, Glasgow coma scale, injury severity scoring, Abbreviated Injury Score, location of injuries, hospital length of stay, ventilator days and mortality. Data were analyzed by the type of PWC (Jet Ski and motorboat).
Results: A total of 39 patients were identified with PWC-related injuries. The majority of cases (71.8%, 28/39) were young and aged 21 to 40 years. Twenty-six cases were injured in Jet Ski accidents and 13 sustained motorboat-related injuries. Patients injured in Jet Ski accidents were younger than those involved in motorboat accidents (mean age (SD); 25(7.6) vs 32.6(6), p=0.01). Chest injury was the most common type of injury; however, the severity of injury was highest in head trauma as compared with other body regions. The injured anatomical regions, severity of injury and outcomes were comparable in the Jet Ski and motorboat-related injuries. Two fatalities were reported; one in Jet Ski-related accident which occurred due to severe head injury and the other patient died due to drowning following motorboat accident. The small sample size in this cohort is one of the limitations, however, given the small number of Qatar population, rarity of reported PWC-related injuries and the importance of paying attention of healthcare authorities for this mechanism of injury may counteract this limitation.
Conclusion: PWC-related injuries are increasing and possess potential risk of severe injuries and disabilities among young population. Strict regulation for training and operation of PWC together with public awareness is needed to improve the safety of recreational injuries.
Keywords: Personal watercraft, Jet Ski, Motorboat, Sport, Injury pattern, Outcome