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Injuries to the head and face sustained while surfboard riding

To the Editor: Surfboard riding is an iconic pastime in Australia. Injuries to the head and face constitute a considerable proportion of surfing injuries;15 26% of acute surfing injuries are to the head and face, and these make up 42% of emergency department presentations by surfers.3

We conducted a retrospective review at our tertiary referral hospital of patients who underwent medical imaging for injuries sustained to the head and face while surfboard riding from January 2008 to January 2012. We searched the hospital radiology databases for patient records containing the terms “surfboard”, “surfer” or “surfing”. Patients were included if they were injured while surfboard riding and were excluded if they were injured during other water-based activities (eg, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, bodysurfing, paddleboarding). Twenty-nine patients were identified: 23 males and six females (mean age, 34 years; range, 10–73 years). Of the 26 who had acute injuries, 17 had imaging of the head only, seven had imaging of the head and cervical spine and two underwent a trauma protocol…