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Vital and Clinical Signs Gathered Within the First Minutes After a Motorcycle Accident on a Racetrack: an Observational Study

  • Hugelius, Karin1
  • Lidberg, Jerry2, 3
  • Ekh, Linda3, 4
  • Örtenwall, Per5
  • 1 Örebro University,
  • 2 Region Örebro County, Karlskoga Hospital, 691 44 Karlskoga, Sweden
  • 3 TM: s ambulance, 652 26 Karlstad, Sweden
  • 4 Department of Clinical Physiology, Region Jämtland Härjedalen, 831 31 Östersund, Sweden
  • 5 Gothenburg University,
Published Article
Sports Medicine - Open
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Aug 21, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s40798-021-00350-6
PMID: 34417908
PMCID: PMC8380220
PubMed Central
  • Original Research Article


Background Little is known about vital signs during the very first minutes after an accident. This study aimed to describe the vital signs of motorcycle riders shortly after racetrack crashes and examine the clinical value of these data for the prehospital clinical assessments. Methods A retrospective observational cohort based on data from medical records on 104 motorcycle accidents at a racetrack in Sweden, covering the season of 2019 (May 01 until September 17), was conducted. Both race and practice runs were included. In addition, data from the Swedish Trauma Registry were used for patients referred to the hospital. Kruskal-Wallis test and linear regression were calculated in addition to descriptive statistics. Results In all, 30 riders (29%) were considered injured. Sixteen riders (15%) were referred to the hospital, and of these, five patients (5% of all riders) had suffered serious injuries. Aside from a decreased level of consciousness, no single vital sign or kinematic component observed within the early minutes after a crash was a strong clinical indicator of the occurrence of injuries. However, weak links were found between highsider or collision crashes and the occurrence of injuries. Conclusion Except for a decreased level of consciousness, this study indicates that the clinical value of early measured vital signs might be limited for the pre-hospital clinical assessment in the motorsport environment. Also, an adjustment of general trauma triage protocols might be considered for settings such as racetracks. Using the context with medical professionals at the victim’s side within a few minutes after an accident, that is common in motorsport, offers unique possibilities to increase our understanding of clinical signs and trauma in the early state after an accident.

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