173486 Impact of helmets on injuries to riders of all terrain vehicles

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stephen M. Bowman, PhD, MHA , Pediatrics/Center for Applied Research and Evaluation, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Mary E. Aitken, MD, MPH , Pediatrics/Center for Applied Research and Evaluation, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
Charles J. Graham, MD , Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, AR
Jim Helmkamp, PhD, MS, FACE , Department of Community Medicine, WV Injury Control Research Center, Morgantown, WV
Background: While helmet use has been shown to be effective in reducing traumatic brain injuries (TBI) due to motorcycle and bicycle crashes, it is unknown whether helmet use is associated with different injury patterns and severity for users of all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Research Design: Using the National Trauma Data Bank, we examined the records of 12,153 patients injured as a result of ATV use. We compared the likelihood of receiving a TBI diagnosis as well as differences in injury severity and in-hospital mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted ATV riders.

Results: Compared to helmeted riders, non-helmeted ATV riders had greater mean Injury Severity Score (11.6 vs. 10.6, p<.001), worse mean Glasgow Coma Score in the emergency department (13.6 vs. 14.4, p<.001), and greater in-hospital mortality (3.2% vs. 1.1%, p<.001). After multivariable adjustment, compared to helmeted riders, we observed that non-helmeted riders were more likely to sustain any traumatic brain injury (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.49-1.76, p<.001) and severe TBI (OR 2.64, 95% CI 2.21-3.17, p<.001). Non-helmeted riders were more likely to die while in the hospital than were helmeted riders (OR 3.13, 95% CI 2.24-4.37, p<.001). Significant injuries to the neck and face regions were also more likely among non-helmeted riders (OR 3.72, 95% CI 1.22-11.34, p=.017 and OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.09-2.37, p=.007 respectively).

Conclusions: ATV riders who do not wear helmets are more likely to receive significant injuries to the brain, face and neck. Prevention strategies and policy interventions to increase helmet use among ATV riders appears warranted.

Learning Objectives:
Describe injury patterns in helmeted and non-helmeted riders of all terrain vehicles. Analyze in-hospital outcomes and differences between injured patients who did and did not wear helmets. Discuss opportunities for injury prevention for riders of all terrain vehicles.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have no conflict of interest or financial interest to disclose.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.