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Sturgeons Versus Surgeons: Leaping Fish Injuries at a Level I Trauma Center

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We have recently noted an increase in patients injured by an unusual mechanism and source: leaping sturgeon. We present our experience with eight cases of sturgeon related injuries. Between January 2006 and June 2007, there were eight patients evaluated at our Level I trauma center for sturgeon related injuries. Injuries included isolated fractures, liver lacerations, severe facial trauma, and a closed head injury. The overall length of stay was 6 days (range 0‐20) and 50 per cent of patients required an intensive care unit stay. For comparative purposes, injuries were classified as primary sturgeon injuries (injuries where the sturgeon directly impacted the patient) and secondary sturgeon injuries (injuries related to the sturgeon but not resultant from direct impact). There were five primary injuries and three secondary injuries in our series. Patients with secondary injuries had a longer length of stay (12 days vs 3 days) and a higher intensive care unit utilization (100 % vs 20%) when compared with patients having primary injuries. This is the first report of sturgeon-related injuries in the medical literature. These peculiar insults seem to have increased in recent years. Public awareness and proper boat safety are vital in reducing the number and severity of these incidents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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