Background: Thousands of children and adolescents attend high-intensity athletic camps each year; the rate and type of injuries sustained are unknown. Hypothesis: Participants in a high-intensity athletic camp would have significant, identifiable health care needs associated with injuries and illnesses. Study Design: Retrospective, observational study.Methods: Acute medical care for camp participants was primarily provided in an academic medical center emergency department (ED). All participants treated in the ED or by a volunteer camp physician were included in the study. Medical and camp records for camp participants were reviewed and described. Results: In sum, 263 participants attended the high-intensity wrestling camp in 2009. Seventy-eight (30%) were treated in the ED; median age was 15.8 years. Sixteen were seen more than once, totaling 96 visits. Thirty-four percent of visits included x-ray and 25% laboratory studies. Forty-four percent were skin complaints. One patient had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection; none had positive viral skin cultures. Musculoskeletal or facial trauma occurred in 37%, with 5 fractures. Injury rate was 1.9 per 1000 athlete exposures. Overall, 47% of campers sought medical care during camp; 11 (4.2%) left camp early because of illness or injury. Few wrestlers received follow-up care.Conclusions: Illnesses and injuries requiring medical attention were common in this high-intensity sports camp. While many ED patients could have been treated in a clinic, 50% required ED medical resources for diagnosis or care.
- emergency department
- high-intensity athletic camp