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Research Letter | Association of VA Surgeons

Helmet Use and Injury Patterns in Motorcycle-Related Trauma

Jeff Lastfogel, MD, MBA1; Tahereh Soleimani, MD2; Roberto Flores, MD3; Adam Cohen, MD4; William A. Wooden, MD2; Imtiaz Munshi, MD, MBA4; Sunil S. Tholpady, MD, PhD2,4
[+] 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.
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This study evaluates the injury patterns, surgical indications, and costs of hospital admission for helmeted and unhelmeted riders.

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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