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"catastrophic" accident situation in Grenoble hospitals

 Poster: A snowHead
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Quote:

Ski accidents: Grenoble South Hospital saturated, a "catastrophic" situation according to the head of the emergency department
By France Bleu Isère , France Bleu

The slopes and ski resorts are packed during the February holidays. But so are the hospitals and the situation is becoming very complicated. Jean-Jacques Banihachémi, the head of the traumatological emergency department at Grenoble's Hôpital Sud, is our guest.


These 2023 winter holidays are a real success for the ski resorts in Isère, which are filling up, despite the lack of snow. Unfortunately, the mild temperatures make the snow heavy and injuries are multiplying on the slopes. The situation is becoming "catastrophic", worries Jean-Jacques Banihachémi, the head of the traumatological emergency department at the South Hospital in Grenoble.

France Bleu Isère - In the ski resorts, the attendance rates are very good but the number of accidents is also on the rise, is that what you notice?
Jean-Jacques Banihachémi - Absolutely, the number of accidents is proportional to the number of visitors. And as the number of visitors is record high this year - they have never experienced this in the ski resorts - it is felt here in the emergency room, with the number of injured people of course.

Is it only linked to the number of visitors, or is it also the quality of the snow this year which influences the number of injuries?

Of course, the number of injuries is multifactorial: the number of skiers is a factor, as is the quality of the snow. And at the moment, as you said, the snow is extremely hard, we are almost in spring snow: very hard snow in the morning, and in the afternoon it's more like a soup. So the patients, when they fall, of course, get injured.

What kind of injuries are you seeing in people at the moment?
This year, what is quite impressive is the number of femoral neck fractures in young people. And this is extremely serious, because these are relatively heavy surgical procedures. We also have a lot of knee fractures and leg fractures that are increasing. As far as the upper limbs are concerned, shoulder and wrist fractures predominate.

What advice can you give to holidaymakers this morning so that they avoid falls and skiing accidents?

The first thing - and I really want to insist on this - is to wear a helmet, it's very important! The second thing is of course to be in good physical condition when you do this kind of sport, because you arrive at altitude. Beware of fatigue, accidents happen at the end of the day. Then you have to be careful with your speed, it's a very important factor in accidents. And finally, you have to know a minimum of the mountain code, how to ski and what priorities to give on the slopes.

What about the hospital, the carers? Can you keep up with the pace? We know that the situation at the hospital is complicated...
We're having a lot of trouble at the moment, even though we're prepared, the South Hospital has been open for years - since 1968 - and we were opened precisely to welcome these ski accident victims. But, in the post-covid period, the number of carers has decreased, many have resigned, the number of operating theatres has been reduced and therefore, we have difficulty in answering the demand which is on the increase for this type of accident.
At the territorial level, we had to organise ourselves with the private clinics. This was a great help and I thank them for it. Because the various skiers who arrived at the Hôpital Sud were transferred to different clinics, notably the Clinique des Cèdres, the Clinique Mutualiste, the GHM and even the Clinique Belledonne.

In concrete terms, how many people do you currently have in the department and how many nurses to look after them?

We have between 80 and 100 patients per day. And then, in terms of care staff, I have the necessary number of people in the emergency department. But the problem is the reception of patients and the fact that they can be hospitalised and, above all, operated on afterwards. For example, just yesterday, we had to transfer patients to Lyon for fractures that required surgery.

Because there was no more room in Grenoble?

There was no more space in the area, not only at the Hôpital Sud but in the Grenoble area, which is catastrophic indeed.



https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/sante-sciences/accidents-de-ski-l-hopital-sud-de-grenoble-sature-une-situation-catastrophique-selon-le-chef-des-urgences-2019346
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80 - 100 patients per day! Shocked
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pam w wrote:
80 - 100 patients per day! Shocked


I saw a lot of accidents at the end of last week - the issue didn't seem to be too many people overall because the lift queues were not mega but too many people in certain spots that were daunting/difficult for them to ski due to the conditions (either ice/moguls/knee deep slush). We saw quite a few collisions.
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Quote:
What kind of injuries are you seeing in people at the moment?
This year, what is quite impressive is the number of femoral neck fractures in young people. And this is extremely serious, because these are relatively heavy surgical procedures. We also have a lot of knee fractures and leg fractures that are increasing. As far as the upper limbs are concerned, shoulder and wrist fractures predominate.


Crumbs! Many varied injuries.

Quote:
What advice can you give to holidaymakers this morning so that they avoid falls and skiing accidents?

The first thing - and I really want to insist on this - is to wear a helmet, it's very important!


Because a helmet protects you from avoiding falls? Or any of the injuries you've specifically mentioned Puzzled
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davidof wrote:


France Bleu Isère - In the ski resorts, the attendance rates are very good but the number of accidents is also on the rise, is that what you notice?
Jean-Jacques Banihachémi - Absolutely, the number of accidents is proportional to the number of visitors. And as the number of visitors is record high this year - they have never experienced this in the ski resorts - it is felt here in the emergency room, with the number of injured people of course.


Obviously the more visitors the more accidents, but it would be interesting to see statistics on the exact mathematical relationship between them. Some accident risks are caused just by the individual skier making a mistake and hurting themselves with no one else involved, in such cases given a typical risk averaged over all skiers then one would expect the number of accidents to be directly proportional to the number of visitors. However some accidents are caused by collisions with other skiers, in such cases one might expect the number of accidents to be proportional to some power >1 of the number of visitors i.e if the number of visitors doubles than the number of accidents increases by more than double.

Just my mathematical musings.... Madeye-Smiley
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Quote:

Because a helmet protects you from avoiding falls?

Maybe they see a lot less concussion, skull fractures and inter-cranial bleeding?
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maggi wrote:
Quote:
What kind of injuries are you seeing in people at the moment?
This year, what is quite impressive is the number of femoral neck fractures in young people. And this is extremely serious, because these are relatively heavy surgical procedures. We also have a lot of knee fractures and leg fractures that are increasing. As far as the upper limbs are concerned, shoulder and wrist fractures predominate.


Crumbs! Many varied injuries.

Quote:
What advice can you give to holidaymakers this morning so that they avoid falls and skiing accidents?

The first thing - and I really want to insist on this - is to wear a helmet, it's very important!


Because a helmet protects you from avoiding falls? Or any of the injuries you've specifically mentioned Puzzled


Unfortunately my niece added to the list last week with a laceration to her kidney, when she fell off a jump at the snow park.
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Ouch.
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@pam w, maybe. But that wasn't the question! And none of those conditions were even mentioned.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 20-02-23 15:48; edited 1 time in total
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@Timmycb5, hope your niece recovers well.
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maggi wrote:
@pam w, maybe. But that wasn't the question! And none of those conditions were even mentioned.


Don't want to get into the usual argument. For the sake of a minor inconvenience, wearing a helmet is a further mitigation against brain injury. It won't protect in all instances, but it may, and that makes it worth it in my opinion.

Wife is an ED and HEMS Consultant, she goes to a lot of bad RTCs and helmets do save lives.
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Les Arcs 2000 last week had the most accidents I have seen in a week. I suspect the snow (soft bumps and rock hard gaps on most blue runs) was a factor.

It was very busy on the piste too. I have a feeling the lift capacity keeps going up (faster larger lifts with more seats) but the runs are no larger. The blue run down to the blue chair lift under 1950 was very busy most of the day and still the lift queue was under 10 minutes.

With the off piste skied out there were a lot of young intermediates flying down the blue runs jumping off the soft bumps in the afternoon.

I guess it does't help in Arc 2000/1950 that so many of the runs are mogul covered black runs that only 20% of the people can enjoy (it's alright for those that can I suppose).

I was glad of my armour and helmet at times with all the potential collisions, it would prevent some knee injuries but not sure if it would help prevent a femoral neck fracture though.
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I don't think anyone really thinks differently in general @NoMapNoCompass, and often discussed.

Friend, also medic, was with me and talking to on piste medical response staff, they described (loosely translated) the park facilities as "portal to paraplegia" for those being over ambitious in their own skill ratings. The risk being substantially increaesd for serious injury in their view, for the ill equipped.
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Ngghhh
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Quote:
Because a helmet protects you from avoiding falls? Or any of the injuries you've specifically mentioned

The surgeon doesn’t claim that his advice is related to the increased levels of certain injuries this year. It’s just a general recommendation, based, I assume, on his overall experience. He never claims that wearing a helmet obviates the injuries mentioned in the previous printed comment. My bet is that this has been edited down from a much longer conversation, so you get the impression that the two comments occurred one after the other, when they probably didn’t. And even if they did, there’s no linkage intended.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 20-02-23 16:38; edited 1 time in total
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Yes, we don't know how the article was edited. But the guy could hardly say "Don't be so foolish as to go skiing in the vacances scolaires", could he?
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@pam w, you mean it was a good answer but to a different question?

http://youtube.com/v/QRhyc56aVb0
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NoMapNoCompass wrote:
maggi wrote:
@pam w, maybe. But that wasn't the question! And none of those conditions were even mentioned.


Don't want to get into the usual argument. For the sake of a minor inconvenience, wearing a helmet is a further mitigation against brain injury. It won't protect in all instances, but it may, and that makes it worth it in my opinion.

Wife is an ED and HEMS Consultant, she goes to a lot of bad RTCs and helmets do save lives.


Crumbs, I didnt know we were being encouraged to wear them in cars now as well.................
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I read it as two separate questions and answers. The first is around what types of injury are common this year? The second is what do you recommend skiers do? The surgeon isn’t saying that his advice obviates the injuries mentioned in the first answer. It’s just generally the best countermeasure you can take to avoid injury, along with a sound understanding of the safety rules for skiing on public pistes, and being fit etc.

As per usual, the journalist didn’t have the nouse to ask the obvious question of what helmets do to reduce serious injuries. Clearly the medic is experienced enough to have some good reasons for his recommendation. But the article doesn’t explore that.
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Maybe some resorts need to be following companies like Vail, who have started to limit the number of lift passes available on any given day to improve guest experience and also safety, especially in seasons like these where the conditions force the would-be free-riders onto the piste, making it even busier!
Particularly given the massive capacity of modern chairlifts.
We usually ski in Scandinavia and the one benefit of all the drag lifts is that the pistes are quiet because everyone is still pootling up the button!
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Quote:

everyone is still pootling up the button!

I suspect most drags are no slower than fixed chairlifts.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

everyone is still pootling up the button!

I suspect most drags are no slower than fixed chairlifts.

I'd have thought a single button would be twice as slow as a fixed double chair - but a T-Bar wouldn't be far away in terms of uplift capacity.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 20-02-23 17:26; edited 1 time in total
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Chronic_Beginner wrote:

We usually ski in Scandinavia and the one benefit of all the drag lifts is that the pistes are quiet because everyone is still pootling up the button!


I love Scandinavia as well as most of the resorts are usually dead mid-week. I don't think it is anything to do with the drag lifts, although you do become very proficient at using them after a Scandi trip!
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I think alcohol will be a factor in many, plus people skiing too fast.
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Agree, the Folie Douce and similar have a lot to answer for.

I generally avoid the area around any Folie Douce or mountainside apres venue close to lift closing times.
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Quote:

I'd have thought a single button would be twice as slow as a fixed double chair

A double chairlift would have twice the capacity, if it travelled at the same speed. But for any individual, it would make no difference unless one appliance had a longer wait to get on it than the other. And on an empty drag lift, you just ski in, grab the perch, and you're off. No waiting for a chair to come round, and no chance of having your calf muscles smashed.
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nevis1003 wrote:
I think alcohol will be a factor in many, plus people skiing too fast.


Skiing fast yes, but a bunch of drunken Frenchies is not something I've ever witnessed in all the years I've been around.

Brits, Scandis, Dutch etc for sure, but think we're talking French High Season half-term hols n'est pas?

Did hear a figure of 120 per day for Briancon hospital, and snow in this part of the world is still good, has to be collisions; and up to a week or so ago there was a lot of black ice around catching people out, was probably more dangerous in the valley that up on the slopes Laughing
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Quote:

A double chairlift would have twice the capacity, if it travelled at the same speed

Actually, just realised that that's not necessarily true, as chairlifts might be further apart than drag lift perches.
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Weathercam wrote:


Skiing fast yes, but a bunch of drunken Frenchies is not something I've ever witnessed in all the years I've been around.

Brits, Scandis, Dutch etc for sure, but think we're talking French High Season half-term hols n'est pas?



I don't think anyone is implying all the accidents are French nationals, nothing has been said that could possibly make anyone draw that conclusion. Even during the height of French half term the bigger resorts, 3V, PdS, Killy etc are full of skiers from many countries.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

A double chairlift would have twice the capacity, if it travelled at the same speed

Actually, just realised that that's not necessarily true, as chairlifts might be further apart than drag lift perches.

There are so many variable eg, There are fixed chairs that can take 3, or even 4 people.

Do Drag lifts, in general, go faster than fixed chairs? As for spacing - I've never thought about it, but don't think there is a big difference - but could be wrong.
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Hmmm something definitely going on if those stats are right…could be a combination of factors…as has been discussed on here before…carving skis contributing to speed, no off piste so more on-piste, some densities on the slopes being far more conducive to accidents etc etc

We had booked half term bec of ValaisGrom2 being still at school…grrr

…was it busier and were there ragged youths on piste who would previously been honking through the woods? Yes.
…did the sun mean more locals out? Yes.
…did we have any close calls whilst skiing? No.
…were we nearly wiped out whilst standing at the very side of the piste by a young woman in expensive kit and no skill? Yes.
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NoMapNoCompass wrote:


I generally avoid the area around any Folie Douce or mountainside apres venue close to lift closing times.


THe one in Chamonix is in town ... I don't drive near it! Shocked
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

I'd have thought a single button would be twice as slow as a fixed double chair

A double chairlift would have twice the capacity, if it travelled at the same speed. But for any individual, it would make no difference unless one appliance had a longer wait to get on it than the other. And on an empty drag lift, you just ski in, grab the perch, and you're off. No waiting for a chair to come round, and no chance of having your calf muscles smashed.


There’s a button in Les Gets that lifts me bodily off the ground at the start, then has another go at it about 10 metres up the track. Bearing in mind I weigh about 100kg, that is some power on the wire. If you’re not prepared for it, I can imagine plenty of injured nether region/upper thigh injuries and sore shoulders!
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@NoMapNoCompass, this time of year the French Media do tend to concentrate on stories revolving around French holidays, as per the link above that was posted.

My news feed has similar stories relating to resorts and holidays every day.

There's a substantial number of French resorts that purely serve a nigh on French clientele at this time of year.

Even here where I live in Serre Chevalier apart from last week it's predominantly French as the various regions take their hols. This week especially busy with both Paris & Marseilles/AIX here.

If you look at the likes of

https://www.ledauphine.com/societe/montagne/l-appel-des-sommets-du-dauphine-libere

https://www.bfmtv.com/bfm-dici/

You'll see the coverage that they give.
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Good core muscles and good anticipation needed for those sort of lifts. Tend to be problematic when you're the first person up them for a while.
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Fixed grip double chairs typically run up to 2.5m per second. Capacity is perhaps between 700 and 900 per hour.

An auto stacking Poma can run between 3 and 4.5m per second but after the development of snowboarding is now restricted in France to a max of about 3.8m/s. Typically Pomas can move between 600 and 1000 people per hour. Spacing are adjustable down to perhaps 4second intervals. The secret to avoid launch is to ensure your skis are moving forward at the point the Poma engages the cable !
Tbars are slower than Pomas but typically about the same speed as fixed grip chairs but can still move up to 1200 per hour.

Retracting reel button lifts are slower than Pomas but probably still good for 600 or 700 people per hour.
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@Peter S, Brilliant info. Every day is a learning day.....and it would appear @pam w has made very valid points.
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Peter S wrote:
Fixed grip double chairs typically run up to 2.5m per second. Capacity is perhaps between 700 and 900 per hour.

An auto stacking Poma can run between 3 and 4.5m per second but after the development of snowboarding is now restricted in France to a max of about 3.8m/s. Typically Pomas can move between 600 and 1000 people per hour. Spacing are adjustable down to perhaps 4second intervals. The secret to avoid launch is to ensure your skis are moving forward at the point the Poma engages the cable !
Tbars are slower than Pomas but typically about the same speed as fixed grip chairs but can still move up to 1200 per hour.

Retracting reel button lifts are slower than Pomas but probably still good for 600 or 700 people per hour.


Thanks for the figures - but really in super-resorts, the comparison needs to be against detachable chairlifts, with line speeds of 5m/s+ and up to 8- or 10-pack. That's a lot of people shifting, and 50% less are tucked out of the way on a chairlift at any given time.
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Pomas can be vulnerable. One of my grandchildren had a bit of a lurch at the top of a nursery slope drag in les saisies, fell down and managed to unplug it, with his pole. It was just plugged in to a socket thing, a bit like a vacuum cleaner. Laughing
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pam w wrote:
Pomas can be vulnerable. One of my grandchildren had a bit of a lurch at the top of a nursery slope drag in les saisies, fell down and managed to unplug it, with his pole. It was just plugged in to a socket thing, a bit like a vacuum cleaner. Laughing

In Arc 1800, there used to be a beginner chair and a beginner drag that were beside each other. When going up on the Chair, we saw the cable of the Drag detach itself and the entire line of beginners quietly topple over. Toofy Grin
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