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Head and Facial Injuries in Interscholastic Women's Lacrosse

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Abstract

The Purpose of this study was to determine the advisability of protective headgear for interscholastic women playing lacrosse by recording the occurrence of head and facial injuries. During this 3-year study, the head and facial region was the most frequently injured individual area (5.4/100 athletes) of all body structures. The three areas of the head and face that were injured the most were: the head (36%), the eye (23%), and the nose (18%). Being struck by an opponent's stick or the ball were the two most common mechanisms of injury, with contusions (63%), lacerations (14%), and concussions (10%) being the most frequent injuries. Athletes were most often in the act of catching the ball or being stick-checked when the injury occurred to the head and facial area. Twice as many head and facial injuries occurred during game play than practice, with on-goal and midfield play being the most hazardous situations. Over the 3-year study, 75% of the athletes who sustained a head or facial injury were incapacitated for 0 to 1 day. Due to the lack of severity of injuries, we concluded that helmets were not necessary for interscholastic women.

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