• genitourinary system;
  • injuries;
  • trauma;
  • consumer product safety;
  • clothing;
  • penis


  • To describe the epidemiology of genital injuries caused by trouser zips and to educate both consumers and the caregivers of patients who sustain such injuries.

Patients and Methods

  • The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a dataset validated to provide a probability sample of patients who present to emergency departments (EDs) in the USA with injuries, was analysed to characterize zip-related genital injuries occurring between 2002 and 2010.
  • A total of 523 cases were analysed to obtain national estimates.


  • Between 2002 and 2010, an estimated 17 616 patients presented to US EDs with trouser zip injuries to the genitals.
  • The penis was almost always the only genital organ involved.
  • Zip injuries represented nearly one-fifth of all penile injuries.
  • Amongst adults, zips were the most frequent cause of penile injuries.
  • Annual zip-related genital injury incidence remained stable over the study period.


  • Zip-related genital injuries affect both paediatric and adult cohorts.
  • Practitioners should be familiar with various zip-detachment strategies for these populations.