The impact of helmets on motorcycle head trauma at a tertiary hospital in JamaicaReport as inadecuate




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BMC Research Notes

, 2:172

First Online: 29 August 2009Received: 25 March 2009Accepted: 29 August 2009DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-2-172

Cite this article as: Crandon, I.W., Harding, H.E., Cawich, S.O. et al. BMC Res Notes 2009 2: 172. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-2-172

Abstract

BackgroundAlthough the Jamaica road traffic act mandates motorcycle riders to wear approved helmets, opponents suggest that the local road conditions obviate any benefits from helmet use that have been proven in Developed countries. They suggest that the narrow, winding, poorly surfaced, congested local highways do not allow motorcyclists to sustain high velocity travel. The accidents then tend to occur at lower speeds and are accompanied by less severe injuries. This study was carried out to determine the impact of helmet use on traumatic brain injuries from motorcycle collisions in patients admitted to a tertiary referral hospital in Jamaica.

MethodsA prospectively collected trauma registry maintained by the Department of Surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica was accessed to identify all motorcycle collision victims from January 2000 to January 2007. The therapeutic outcomes of traumatic brain injuries were compared between helmeted and un-helmeted riders. The data was analyzed using SPSS Version 12.

ResultsOf 293 motorcycle collision victims, 143 sustained brain injuries. There were 9 females 6.3% with an average age of 23 +- 7.3 years and 134 males 93.7% at an average age of 33.4 +- 11.2 years mean +- SD. Only 49 34.3% patients wore a helmet at the time of a collision. Helmet use at the time of a collision significantly reduced the severity of head injuries 28.6% vs 46.8%, P = 0.028 and the likelihood of sustaining intra-cranial lesions 26.5% vs 44.7%, P = 0.03 from head injuries.

ConclusionWearing a helmet at the time of a motorcycle collision reduces the severity of head injuries. However, the prevalence of helmet use at the time of a collision is unacceptably low.

Ivor W Crandon, Hyacinth E Harding, Shamir O Cawich, Morton AC Frankson, Georgiana Gordon-Strachan, Noel McLennon, Archibald H McDonald, Doreen Fearon-Boothe, Nicole Meeks-Aitken, Karen Watson-Jones and Kenneth C James contributed equally to this work.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-2-172 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Ivor W Crandon - Hyacinth E Harding - Shamir O Cawich - Morton AC Frankson - Georgiana Gordon-Strachan - Noel McLennon -

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