Background: Bicycle riding is a popular leisure activity and an important means of transportation in Hong Kong. Young cyclists' riding behaviour causes injury patterns which may differ from older riders. The aim of this study is firstly to describe bicycle related injuries presenting to a regional trauma centre in Hong Kong, and secondly to compare patients aged > 15 years with those patients aged < or = 15 years.
Methods: This retrospective observational study examined all bicycle related injury patients presenting to the ED of the Prince of Wales Hospital (PWH) in 2006.
Results: Results showed that bicycle helmet use was low in Hong Kong suggesting that the wearing of helmets when cycling should be promoted. Bicycle related injuries were common in children but the injuries in adults were more serious. Head and limb injuries were common and limbs on the left side were 2.5 times more likely to be injured than those on the right. The older group were more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision and sustained more severe injuries than the younger group. They had more serious head and neck, face, thorax and abdominal injuries compared to the younger group.
Conclusion: Prevention strategies should include more widespread helmet use and increasing bicycle lane provision to enable traffic separation in Hong Kong. The three 'E' approaches (education, enforcement and environment) should be implemented to prevent bicycle injuries in Hong Kong.