Table 1

Summary of key data items extracted from the consensus statements in relation to the reporting of fatalities

Item defined Key points Implications for reporting fatality
  • Definitions have broadened from initially being specific physical-injury definitions to separately defining an incident, injury and illness/medical condition.

  • The incident, injury and illness definitions incorporate any physical/mental health complaint, irrespective of medical attention or time loss.

Definitions neither specifically include fatalities, nor do they exclude them.
  • Injury severity was consistently reported in terms of days missed from training/competition.

  • Severity definitions generally have no ceiling point for days missed, extending to any unknown future time point, most commonly >28 days missed but also extending to >6 months.

  • Career-ending events were specifically noted in four documents.

  • Death would lead to both missed days and a career end.

Use of an open-ended time point for severity does not exclude the possibility of documenting fatalities, but such criteria also do not specifically seek to include them.
  • Injury/Illness diagnosis was mostly recommended for classification according to the Orchard Sports Injury Classification System (OSICS) or the Sports Medicine Diagnostic Coding System (SMDCS).

  • Both the OSICS and SMDCS systems list diagnoses that may help to identify fatalities or determine a cause of death (eg, OSICS-10 code HNVX, intracranial bleed, may subsequently result in death of the athlete or SMDCS code CV.01.51 sudden cardiac death).

  • Use of the International Classification of Diseases codes specified for athletics would document external causes of death (ie, injury mechanism) against the nature of death (ie, heat stroke) but would only be useful when the activity at the time of the injury is reported.

The recommended diagnostic coding does not seek to specifically include fatalities, but it does not exclude the collection or reporting of deaths.
The lack of a specific data field indicating that fatality was the outcome does not encourage this classification.