In 1994 the Glasgow Royal Infirmary published a list of causes of
head injuries among patients admitted to casualty units of several
hospitals in the west of Scotland. Injuries while climbing accounted
for 8% of admissions for head injuries. Not surprisingly, golf
accounted for the majority of head injuries; I think the figure was
about 30%. Unfortunately, no demographic figures were provided to
allow rates of head injury for different subsets of the population
to be calculated. However, I would assume that there would be many
times more people playing golf in Scotland than climbing. It would
be very difficult to work out the risk of injury per 100 person
hours of climbing versus playing golf.
Unfortunately, I contributed to the west of Scotland head injury list.
I went off-route 15 feet above my last protection and fell about 30
feet under a small roof, landing upside down and knocking myself
unconscious. I regained consciousness as I was being lifted into an
ambulance. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet, otherwise I would
have suffered serious head injuries. Even with a helmet, I had a cut
in my scalp that required 5 stitches and my helmet had a lot of ***
in it. My second had a very hard time psychologically, as he at first
thought I might have been dead and had to accompany me to hospital.
The X-rays indicated no fractures. I was able to return to work the
next day, but my head and shoulder were very sore. I have a new helmet.