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November 1, 1985

Cost of Orthopedic Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento.

JAMA. 1985;254(17):2452-2453. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170092037

Fifty-one serial admissions to the orthopedic services at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, for motorcycle accident trauma with open fractures were reviewed. Fifty-five percent of those tested were alcohol intoxicated at the time of admission. Seventy-five percent carried no insurance of any kind, and for the total group, 72% of the cost of acute hospitalization ($17,704 per patient) was paid by the state of California, with an additional 10% paid by other tax-based sources. Care of motorcycle trauma consumes a substantial portion of public health care funds in California. This could be reduced by legislative action concerning helmet use, licensing, and rigid enforcement of compulsory insurance.

(JAMA 1985;254:2452-2453)