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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 18(5); 2007 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2007;18(5): 381-386.
The Impacts of Helmet Use on Injuries in Motorcycle Crash Patients in Korea
Soon Young Yun, Jae Eun Kim, Eun Kyung Eo, Koo Young Jung
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Eulji General Hospital, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea. kyjung@ewha.ac.kr
To determine the helmet use rate, factors affecting helmet use in Korea, and the effects of helmet use on injuries.
This is a prospective study with patients who visited two emergency centers in Seoul during 7 months due to accidents that they had while riding a motorcycle. We examined the patients' general characteristics, whether to wear a helmet, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Revised Trauma Score (RTS), Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) and Injury Severity Score (ISS) on admission, and whether to be hospitalized. In addition, factors such as the patients' position, accident season, day of the week, hour and whether to drink were analyzed to see if they affect helmet use and injuries.
A total of 178 patients participated in this study, and 57.3% wore a helmet. Around 20% of patients had head injuries. Head injuries were more frequent in those who did not wear a helmet. According to the result of analyzing factors affecting helmet use, the helmet non-use rate was high in patients whose age was 30 or less and drinkers. For the two groups, the odds ratios for helmet non-use were 2.3 (95% CI 1.2~4.5) and 4.2 (95% CI 1.2~ 15.2), respectively.
This study shows that helmet use can prevent head injuries in motorcycle patients. Thus, in order to prevent head injuries, helmet use should be increased and, for this, education and regulation on helmet use should be reinforced, particularly for those aged 30 or younger and drinkers.
Key words: Motorcycles, Helmets, Wound and Injuries
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