Despite some criticism of bicycle helmets for not being sufficiently protective, that decrease the risk of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in half when runners suffer head injury, a US study suggests.
helmeted riders were also less likely to die from their wounds, and less likely to facial bones, than those not wearing a helmet rupture, researchers report in the American Journal of Surgery.
“is similar to wearing a seat belt, said Dr. Jerri Rose, a doctor pediatric emergency department at the University Hospitals’ Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved in the study. “the use of one does not ensure that’re not going to get in a car accident, but decreases the risk of injury and death in a car accident.”
Millions of Americans go bicycle helmets but less than half of bicycle wear, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases.
in the US, there were 900 deaths and an estimated 494,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms for bicycle-related in 2013 lesions, the study authors.
using the American College of Trauma National Databank surgeons, researchers analyzed the records of 6,267 people treated in 2012 for bleeding inside the skull after a bicycle accident.
a quarter of the patients had been wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of his accident. A little more than half of the patients had severe traumatic brain injury and 3 percent died.
The researchers found that people wearing helmets were 52 percent lower risk of severe TBI, compared to runners without helmets, and 44 percent lower risk of death.
helmeted riders also had a 31 percent lower chance of facial fractures. The top of the face, especially around the eyes, was more secure. Helmets offers less protection against fractures of the lower part of the face, like the nose and jaw.
Moreover, people who wore helmets reduce the likelihood of undergoing brain surgery, which also confirms a certain level of protection with helmet use, the study team writes.
“wearing helmets has always been controversial,” said study co-author Dr. Asad Azim, a researcher in the Department of Surgery at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Critics argue that because their helmets incomplete bicycle design are useless and do not protect passengers when it comes to serious injury.”
However, “the study results say different,” he told Reuters Health by email.
helmeted riders were more likely to be white, female and insured compared to helmeted riders not. 10 drivers aged 20 were the least likely to wear a helmet while those aged 60 to 70 were more likely to use one.
helmets “About 75 percent of people in this study did not wear so they have a long way to go in terms of making sure that people wear helmets when cycling,” Rose said.
“especially teenagers,” he added, “is not perceived as good.”
The key is to start early, Rose said. “Starting early is very important. As soon as they begin to ride their bikes, they should be taught to wear a helmet. It has to become routine.”