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Research Letter
Association of VA Surgeons
January 2016

Helmet Use and Injury Patterns in Motorcycle-Related Trauma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Indiana University, Indianapolis
  • 2Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Indiana University, Indianapolis
  • 3Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University, New York
  • 4Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(1):88-90. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3225

Wearing a motorcycle helmet has been shown to decrease the number of injuries and the mortality rate associated with motorcycle-related trauma.1 Once almost universal, many states have regressed to partial or no helmet laws.2 This changing legislation has provided opportunities for study that clearly indicate the reduction in mortality benefit of helmet use. Although beneficial, helmet use could possibly lead to changes in injury patterns that have been previously undescribed. Using data from the National Trauma Database, we performed a comparative analysis to evaluate the injury patterns, surgical indications, and costs of hospital admission for helmeted and unhelmeted riders.

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