Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-77

Profiling cycling trauma throughout the body with and without helmet usage in a large united states health-care network

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Greenville, SC, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Greenville Health System, Greenville, SC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Shanna Elizabeth Williams
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 607 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_65_18

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Background: This study aimed to characterize bodily injury patterns associated with helmet usage by comparing trauma sustained by helmeted and helmetless cyclists admitted to a large US health-care system. Materials and Methods: A prospective trauma registry associated with a large regional United States health-care network was queried for bicycle injuries resulting in hospital admission over a 5-year period. Data pertaining to helmet usage, demographics, injury description (s), Abbreviated Injury Scale score, Injury Severity Score, and hospital length of stay were collected from 140 patients treated for bicycle-related injuries. Mann–Whitney tests were performed. Results: Fifty-six of the injured cyclists were helmeted (40%) and 84 were not helmeted (60%). A significantly greater proportion of helmeted cyclists exhibited abrasions and a higher incidence of injury across all injury types (P = <0.001 and 0.003). The number and severity of injury to the external body (P = <0.001 and 0.001) and overall injury severity (P = 0.004) for patients with multiple injuries were also significantly greater among helmeted cyclists. Helmeted cyclists did demonstrate significantly shorter hospital stays (P = 0.021). Conclusion: While the helmeted and helmetless riders admitted to the emergency department exhibit few differences in injury patterns, when significant injury differences were detected, they were more prevalent in helmeted riders. These differences were represented by minor-to-moderate injuries relative to morbidity and mortality, suggesting that the trauma profile of the helmeted and helmetless riders is relatively comparable. Yet, helmetless wearers did have significantly longer hospital stays, which may indicate underlying health disparities and/or behavioral differences.

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