Trauma Register Contribution to a better knowledge of the motorcycle injury population


Type de document
Résumé / Abstract
A road traffic crash trauma register has been in place within the Rhône Department area since 1995. This register records all hospital admissions in ninety different centres: emergency units, paediatric care units, trauma departments, rehabilitation centres...All crash injuries are recorded, including casualty characteristics and injury charts, and are coded according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale, 1990 revision. The 1996 injury data has been selected from the register for the purpose of this analysis, corresponding to approximately 10,500 victims. The overall extent of physical injury sustained by each casualty is assessed by an ordered scale, the Injury Severity Score. Trauma register records and police reports for the Rhône area were coupled together and intensively reviewed. A comparison of the trauma register with these official statistics reveals a substantial under-reporting in the latter. Much worse, this under-reporting fluctuates dramatically (between 20% to 80%) according to the severity and the circumstances of the crash, the road user category involved, etc. So the representativity of such biased official statistics may be questionable, especially for populations such as motorcyclists where under-reporting can be as high as 60%. Our objective is to show the main characteristics of the under-reporting of motorcycle accidents: the less severe the crash, the lesser the chance of it being recorded; the younger the casualty, the more likely they are to be ignored by the police records, especially adolescent moped riders. We observed the same lack of records for single motorcycle accidents, but observed the opposite for motorcyclists injured in collisions with another motor vehicle. Motorcycle casualties are often characterised by multiple injuries. The analysis of their injury patterns shows that injuries to extremities are the most frequent. According to the AIS classification, lower extremities represent 40% of the injuries sustained by motorcyclists, followed by upper extremities with 30%. If only serious injuries (AIS 3 and above) are considered, head injuries represent 30%, thoracic and chest injuries reach to 28% and extremities remain over-represented with roughly a quarter of the serious injuries. A large part of motorcycle crashes are due to young teenagers (14 years to 17 years old or under) riding mopeds. Counter measures are being proposed by the authorities to tackle this problem. This includes: riding lessons, highway code exams and speed/power restrictions on moped engines. Mots clés libres :epidemiology;trauma register;road safety;road traffic accidents;traffic injury;motorcycle injury;data analysis;statistical analysis;logistic regression model.

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