Motorcycle Helmets Save Lives, But Not Limbs: A National Trauma Data Bank Analysis of Functional Outcomes After Motorcycle Crash1

Joseph G. Crompton*, Tolulope Oyetunji, Kent A. Stevens, David T. Efron, Elliott R. Haut, Adil H. Haider

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The incidence of motorcycle fatalities over the last 10 y has nearly doubled. There is considerable evidence that motorcycle helmets save lives, but there are little data regarding the impact that helmets have on functional outcomes after a motorcycle crash. The objective of this study was to determine the difference between helmeted and non-helmeted motorcyclists in the odds of developing a functional deficit at discharge in three domains: speech, locomotion, and feeding. Methods: Reviewed cases in the National Trauma Databank v7.0 involved in motorcycle collisions. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of helmets on mortality and functional outcomes, adjusting for age, race, gender, insurance status, anatomic and physiologic injury severity, and head injury. Results: The adjusted odds of mortality (0.75; 95% CI 0.65-0.86) and functional deficits in speech (0.82; 95% CI 0.69-0.97), locomotion (1.19; 95% CI 1.11-1.29), and feeding (0.96 95% CI 0.84-1.08) among helmeted riders was compared with non-helmeted motorcyclists with equivalent injuries. Conclusion: Helmeted motorcyclists are less likely to die and develop a deficit in speech after a motorcycle collision. These data support that motorcycle helmets are important in preventing functional deficits related to head injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume158
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • National Trauma Data Bank
  • feeding deficit
  • functional outcomes
  • locomotion deficit
  • motorcycle helmet
  • speech deficit
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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