Common Hockey Injuries Nurses May See in the Emergency Room

NursingDecember 05, 2013


As a nurse, you will see many interesting and shocking things. One of those things will be sports injuries. Injuries occur in most sports at some time, but hockey injuries may be among some of the most severe. The majority of hockey related injuries, an approximate 80 percent of them, occur during a played game. A flying hockey puck, a skate blade puncturing the skin, out-of-control wielding of a hockey stick, colliding with another player and checking are most often the offending culprits of such injuries. A nurse will need to be prepared in caring for these types of injuries. Here are three hockey related injuries that you will see come in to the emergency room.

Head Injuries

The rough and tumble sport of hockey includes a great deal of body contact with the other players. A blow to the head is not uncommon, nor is a player sailing across the ice and into the boards. Although helmets are worn when playing ice hockey, the potential for a head injury is still possible. When a hockey player hits, he usually hits hard. A concussion is a common hockey injury that is seen in the emergency room. Some of these symptoms include a loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. The emergency room physician will likely order a CT scan or an MRI to rule out any bleeding. Care for this type of injury will vary, according to the results of those tests.

Shoulder Injuries

One player nudging another and other body contact creates the perfect scenario for a shoulder injury. A shoulder separation is seen often among common types of hockey injuries, as well as a fractured collarbone. The emergency room physician will order an X-ray to confirm that nothing is fractured. Treatment for this type of injury will likely include ice, rest, pain medications and a sling, as long as nothing is fractured.

Knee Injuries

High sticking, tripping another player, a fall and other mishaps result in a hockey player sustaining a knee injury. Hockey players push off on the inside edge of their skates, which makes the outside of the knee most vulnerable. Meniscus tears, medial collateral ligament injuries and anterior cruciate ligament issues are seen most often in the emergency room in sustained hockey injuries. An X-ray will be taken of the knee to determine the outcome of the injury that the player has sustained. Rest, ice, casting, bracing, elevation and future surgeries are all possibilities for the treatment of an injury to the knee.

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