Objective: To determine if health outcomes and demographics differ according to helmet status between persons with cycling-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Methods: This is a retrospective study of 128 patients admitted to the Montreal General Hospital following a TBI that occurred while cycling from 2007-2011. Information was collected from the Quebec trauma registry and the coroner's office in cases of death from cycling accidents. The independent variables collected were socio-demographic, helmet status, clinical and neurological patient information. The dependent variables evaluated were length of stay (LOS), extended Glasgow outcome scale (GOS-E), injury severity scale (ISS), discharge destination and death.
Results: 25% of cyclists wore a helmet. The helmet group was older, more likely to be university educated, married and retired. Unemployment, longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay, severe intracranial bleeding and neurosurgical interventions were more common in the no helmet group. There was no significant association between the severity of the TBI, ISS scores, GOS-E or death and helmet wearing. The median age of the subjects who died was higher than those who survived.
Conclusion: Cyclists without helmets were younger, less educated, single and unemployed. They had more severe TBIs on imaging, longer LOS in ICU and more neurosurgical interventions. Elderly cyclists admitted to the hospital appear to be at higher risk of dying in the event of a TBI.
Keywords: Acute Care; Bicycle; Helmets; Outcome; Traumatic Brain Injury.