Blobbing injury patterns.


Department for Trauma Surgery, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : "Blobbing" is a modern outdoor activity where a participant sits on the end of a partially inflated air bag ("blobber") and is launched into the water when another participant jumps onto the air bag from a platform on the opposite side ("jumper"). This is the first study to evaluate the injury patterns associated with blobbing.
METHODS : A retrospective data analysis was conducted based on 86 patients who sustained blobbing injuries between January 2011 and December 2016. The date of birth, gender, day of injury, diagnosis, body region of trauma, and treatment were recorded for the patients. Treatment was subclassified into conservative or surgical treatment. The position of the participant was recorded as either a jumper or a blobber.
RESULTS : One-third of the patients sustained a spine injury, which was the most common body part injured. The most frequent type of injury was cervical spine distortion. All shoulder (n = 9), elbow (n = 3), hand (n = 2), knee (n = 3), and foot (n = 12) injuries occurred in jumpers, whereas all ear (n = 6) and lung (n = 5) injuries occurred in blobbers. Head (n = 5) and spine (n = 33) injuries were distributed in jumpers and blobbers. Sixty-nine patients were treated with conservative treatment. Three ankle fractures and two spine fractures were treated with immediate surgical treatment. Twelve patients were treated with conservative treatment but were referred for potential surgery at their hospital at home.
CONCLUSIONS : Both jumpers and blobbers were prone to injuries. More severe injuries with the potential for surgical treatment occurred in jumpers, presumably because of bad landings. This analysis of the injury patterns in blobbers might lead to the introduction of protective gear and changes in the behavior of participants in order to reduce the risk of injury.


Air bag,Blob,Blobbing,Fall,Injury,Jump,

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