Southmead Hospital Major Trauma team urge riders to wear safety gear

Friday, 23 March 2018

The Major Trauma team at Southmead Hospital is calling for riders to wear safety gear whenever they head out on their horses.
Almost 70 people suffered injuries relating to horses in the Severn Trauma network in 2017.
And now the adult major trauma lead for the region, which includes Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire, is backing National Equestrian Safety Day (Saturday, March 24) and encouraging people to take appropriate precautions.
National Equestrian Safety Day was set up to highlight the injuries that can be sustained in connection with horses - from falls to bites and horses bolting - and providing advice about the precautions that can be taken to reduce these risks.
A total of 68 patients were admitted to hospitals across the region - from Cheltenham down to Yeovil and across to Swindon last year, including Bristol Children’s Hospital. Of these, 34 were seen at the adult Major Trauma Centre at Southmead Hospital.
In most cases (56) injuries were sustained as a result of falling from horses, while 11 were due to a blow from a horse. There were also several (fewer than 5) deaths as a result of horse-related injuries in 2017.
Severn Trauma Network Adult Lead, Dr Ben Walton, said: “As a major trauma service we see serious - and even fatal - injuries related to horse riding and we want to use National Equestrian Safety Day as an opportunity to encourage riders to take any precautions they can to minimise their risk of injuries so they can enjoy their hobby safely.
“We encourage people to wear helmets, body protection and long boots to protect themselves when out riding. Many of the people who came to us in 2017 with injuries related to horses were wearing protective gear and this meant that their injuries were not as significant as they would have been without them.”