Top winter and winter sports related injuries
Many people consider winter to be the absolute best time of the year. Snow is on the ground, friends and family gathered by the fire, and a cup of hot cocoa is just a sip away.
But with all of the fun that winter brings, it can also bring about a slew of injuries and accidents. From slipping on a patch of ice to frostbite and ski accidents, there is no shortage of reasons to visit the doctor during the winter months.
Using Definitive Healthcare’s claims data, we created a list of the top winter-related medical codes by their number of patients in 2022.
Winter related injuries by number of patients
|Rank||IDC-10 code||IDC-10 description||Explore dataset|
|1||W000XXA||Fall on same level due to ice and snow, initial encounter||Explore|
|2||W009XXA||Unspecified fall due to ice and snow, initial encounter||Explore|
|3||Y9323||Activity, snow (alpine) (downhill) skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing and snow tubing||Explore|
|4||V00321A||Fall from snow-skis, initial encounter||Explore|
|5||V00311A||Fall from snowboard, initial encounter||Explore|
|6||Y9322||Activity, ice hockey||Explore|
|7||W000XXD||Fall on same level due to ice and snow, subsequent encounter||Explore|
|8||V00211A||Fall from ice-skates, initial encounter||Explore|
|9||W009XXD||Unspecified fall due to ice and snow, subsequent encounter||Explore|
|10||V00328A||Other snow-ski accident, initial encounter||Explore|
What are the most common winter related injuries?
Falls due to ice and snow account for four out of the top 10 injuries on the list, including the number one and two spots. Falling on snow and ice can happen pretty much anywhere with cold weather, so it is unsurprising that these types of injuries make it into the top 10. In fact, falling remains in the top spot year after year.
Outside of falls due to snow and ice, injuries related to winter sports and activities round out the rest of the top 10. Every year, millions of people partake in winter sports and activities all across cold weather regions. But these activities can often be very dangerous, and six out of the top 10 injuries are related to them.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected wintertime injuries?
Overall, winter-related diagnoses appear to be down compared to pre-pandemic years and have largely experienced a major drop since 2020.
Winter related diagnoses trends from 2018 to 2022
|Diagnosis category||2018-2019||2019-2020||2020-2021||2021-2022||2019-2022||Explore dataset|
|Fall due to ice and snow||20%||-54%||44%||11%||-26%||Explore|
|Pedestrian conveyance accident||-2%||-21%||41%||-12%||-1.5%||Explore|
|Activity codes (skiing, snowboarding, sledding etc.)||-7%||-29%||35%||-14%||-18%||Explore|
|Occupant of special all-terrain or other off-road motor vehicle, injured in transport accident||9%||-24%||23%||-59%||-61%||Explore|
|Striking against or struck by sports equipment||-5%||-41%||50%||-6%||-18%||Explore|
|Other specified transport accidents||0%||-47%||12%||-40%||-64%||Explore|
When the pandemic hit, most people stayed inside for long periods of time and avoided regular winter activities, resulting in a big dip in winter-related injuries. General falls due to ice and snow as well as incidents of frostbite saw a 54% and 49% decrease respectively from 2019 to 2020.
Once the effects of the pandemic started to wane and restrictions began to ease up, claims for winter-related injuries all saw a rebound from 2020 to 2021 with most only having minor decreases in 2022. Despite this, most claims are not quite to the same levels as they were in 2019. For example, falls due to ice and snow as well as frostbite are down 26% and 24% respectively. As COVID cases tend to surge in the winter, the possible decline could potentially be attributed to that.
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