Rethinking bicycle helmets as a preventive tool: a 4-year review of bicycle injuries

B. Joseph, V. Pandit, B. Zangbar, M. Amman, M. Khalil, Terence OKeeffe, T. Orouji, A. Asif, A. Katta, D. Judkins, R. S. Friese, P. Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conclusion: Bicycle helmets may have a protective effect against external head injury but its protective role for intra-cranial hemorrhage is questionable. Further studies assessing the protective role of helmets for intra-cranial hemorrhage are warranted.

Introduction: Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of disability in bicycle riders. Preventive measures including bicycle helmet laws have been highlighted; however, its protective role has always been debated. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of bicycle helmets in prevention of intra-cranial hemorrhage. We hypothesized that bicycle helmets are protective and prevent the development of intra-cranial hemorrhage.

Methods: We performed a 4-year (2009–2012) retrospective cohort analysis of all the patients who presented with traumatic brain injury due to bicycle injuries to our level 1 trauma center. We compared helmeted and non-helmeted bicycle riders for differences in the patterns of injury, need for intensive care unit admissions and mortality.

Results: A total of 864 patients were reviewed of which, 709 patients (helmeted = 300, non-helmeted = 409) were included. Non-helmeted bicycle riders were more likely to be young (p < 0.001) males (p = 0.01). There was no difference in the median ISS between the two groups (p = 0.3). Non-helmeted riders were more likely to have a skull fracture (p = 0.01) and a scalp laceration (p = 0.01) compared to the helmeted riders. There was no difference in intra-cranial hemorrhage between the two groups (p = 0.1). Wearing a bicycle helmet was not independently associated (p = 0.1) with development of intra-cranial hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-732
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 29 2014

Keywords

  • Bicycle injury
  • Helmet laws
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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    Joseph, B., Pandit, V., Zangbar, B., Amman, M., Khalil, M., OKeeffe, T., Orouji, T., Asif, A., Katta, A., Judkins, D., Friese, R. S., & Rhee, P. (2014). Rethinking bicycle helmets as a preventive tool: a 4-year review of bicycle injuries. European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery, 40(6), 729-732. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00068-014-0453-0