Catastrophic injuries can rarely occur in cheerleaders.

Catastrophic injury: any severe cerebral, spinal cord or spinal injury (and to other organs) occurred during sports participation.



(1) death

(2) permanent disability


Risk factors:

(1) fall from height (pyramids, basket tosses, etc)

(2) collapse of a structure

(3) impalement

(4) other stunt


Sites of catastrophic injury:

(1) head: concussion (52%), cerebral edema, hematoma, skull fracture

(2) cervical spine (32%): cervical fracture, severe ligament injury, spinal cord injury

(3) other areas of the spine

(4) heart or lung, including commotio cordis and pneumothorax

(5) intra-abdominal organs (spleen, liver, other)

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