Helmeted bicycle riders have a 58 percent reduced odds of severe traumatic brain injury after an accident compared to their non-helmeted counterparts, according to researchers from the University of Arizona, Tucson. Their findings were presented today during the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. The researchers performed an analysis using the 2012 National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) of the American College of Surgeons, analyzing records of 6,267 patients who had a traumatic brain injury after a bicycle related accident. Among the group of patients, just over 25 percent were wearing helmets.
“We know for a fact that helmets help you prevent head bleeds in case you get into a bicycle-related accident,” said Ansab Haider, MD, one of the study coauthors. “But the real question was, if you get into a bicycle-related accident and end up with a head bleed, does helmet use somehow protect you?” The researchers found that among this group of patients–those who sustained traumatic brain injury after a bicycle related accident–the ones wearing helmets had a 58 percent reduced odds of severe traumatic brain injury and a 59 percent reduced odds of death. Further, the use of helmets reduced by 61 percent the odds of craniotomy (an operation to remove part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain) and facial fractures by 26 percent.