Burns, broken bones, concussions… sounds like an injury list from an extreme sport, doesn’t it?
Surprise! Those injuries, and more, are the result of ice fishing.
Turns out that sitting in a shanty, fishing through a hole in the ice, is an extreme sport.
A team of surgeons from Mayo Clinic studied data from E.R. visits between 2009 and 2014 to reach the conclusion.
“Falling through the ice is the most feared risk of ice fishing,” says lead author Cornelius Thiels, D.O., a surgical resident at Mayo Clinic. “However, it turns out that burns are just as common, but rarely discussed. Ice fishing huts often contain rudimentary heating systems, and we have seen injuries from fires and carbon monoxide inhalation. We hope this research will bring awareness to the safety issues that surround this pastime and help prevent similar incidents.”
Injuries reported included broken bones and sprains, cuts and punctures, and some major trauma. That category of injury includes concussions, internal injuries, and loss of an appendage.
Slips and falls and fish hooks make sense for most ice fishing injuries, but what about the burns? Most likely from shanty heating devices.
During the time period studied, 85 patients went to the E.R. because of ice fishing-related injuries.
The team gathered the data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System─All Injury Program. Besides the injuries, which are extreme sport level, the team compared ice fishing injuries to open water fishing injuries.
The group most likely to have more serious injuries? Ice fishermen. Those more likely to have torso or lower body injuries? Again, ice fishermen.
And those ice fishing were more likely to have reports of intoxication compared to open water anglers.