We evaluated demographic data and compared injuries between bicycle riders that crashed with and without helmets over a 9-year period. Categorical variables were compared using linear regression methods and nominal variables using ANOVA. Differences were considered significant for P ≤ 0.05.
There were 906 patients evaluated, 701 with helmets (77%) and 205 (23%) without helmets. The mean Injury Severity Score was 9.3 ± 6.4. The most common injuries were concussion (n = 385), rib fractures (n = 154), clavicle fractures (n = 139), facial fractures (n = 102), and cervical spine fractures (n = 89). There was no significant difference in the number of patients with a concussion in riders with or without helmets, [299/701, 42.6% versus 86/205, 42.0%, respectively, (P = NS)]. In helmet versus no helmet riders, there were significantly fewer patients with facial fractures, [67/701, 9.5%, versus 35/205, 17.0%, respectively, (P = 0.003)], skull fractures [8/701, 1.1% versus 9/205, 4.4%, respectively, (P = 0.003)], and serious head injuries [6/701, 0.85% versus 8/205, 3.9%, respectively, (P = 0.002)].
Helmeted patients involved in bicycle crashes are less likely to sustain a serious head injury, a skull fracture, or facial fractures compared to riders without helmets. The most common injury in patients with a bicycle crash is a concussion. Helmets did not prevent concussion after bicycle rider’s crash in our patient population.
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