Objective: To examine statewide emergency department (ED) visit data for motorcycle crash morbidity and healthcare utilization due to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and non-TBIs.
Setting: North Carolina ED data (2010-2012) and hospital discharge data (2009-2011).
Population: Statewide ED visits and hospitalizations due to injuries from traffic-related motorcycle crashes stratified by TBI status.
Design: Descriptive study.
Main measures: Descriptive statistics include age, sex, mode of transport, disposition, expected source of payment, hospital length of stay, and hospital charges.
Results: Over the study period, there were 18 780 ED visits and 3737 hospitalizations due to motorcycle crashes. Twelve percent of ED visits for motorcycle crashes and 26% of hospitalizations for motorcycle crashes had a diagnosis of TBI. Motorcycle crash-related hospitalizations with a TBI diagnosis had median hospital charges that were nearly $9000 greater than hospitalizations without a TBI diagnosis.
Conclusions: Emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to motorcycle crashes with a TBI diagnosis consumed more healthcare resources than motorcycle crash-related ED visits and hospitalizations without a TBI diagnosis. Increased awareness of motorcyclists by other road users and increased use of motorcycle helmets are 2 strategies to mitigate the incidence and severity of motorcycle crash injuries, including TBIs.