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Unhelmeted Motorcycle Riders Have Increased Injury Burden: A Need to Revisit Universal Helmet Laws.

Authors
  • Patel, Parth B1
  • Staley, Christopher A1
  • Runner, Robert1
  • Mehta, Samir2
  • Schenker, Mara L3
  • 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. , (Georgia)
  • 2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Georgia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Surgical Research
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
242
Pages
177–182
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2019.03.023
PMID: 31078903
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare hospital outcomes for patients in a motorcycle collision with and without helmet use. The study was conducted as a retrospective analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank's 2013 data set, which included reported data from 100 hospitals across the United States. Inclusion criterion for this study is a motorcycle crash involving a driver or passenger. The total number of patients in motorcycle crashes as reported by the National Trauma Data Bank in 2013 was 10,345. Helmet use, hospital stay, ICU and ventilation days, mortality, Glasgow Coma Score, Injury Severity Score, patient payer mix, and complication data were obtained. Patients were divided into two groups: those wearing a helmet (n = 6250) and those without (n = 4095). Patients not wearing a helmet had an increased risk of admission to the ICU (OR = 1.36, P < 0.001, CI 1.25-1.48), requiring ventilation support (OR = 1.55, P < 0.001, CI 1.39-1.72), presenting with a Glasgow Coma Score of eight or below (OR = 2.15, P < 0.001), and in-patient mortality (OR = 2.00, P < 0.001, CI 1.58-2.54). Unhelmeted patients were more likely to have government insurance or be uninsured than those patients wearing a helmet (P < 0.001). It is not well understood why many states are repealing or have repealed universal helmet laws. Lack of helmet use increases the severity of injury in traumatized patients leading to a substantial financial impact on health care costs. Our analysis suggests the need to revisit the issue regarding laws that require protective headwear while riding motorcycles because of the individual and societal impact. III. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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