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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 205-212

Association between types of helmet and outcomes in motorcyclists after traffic accidents


1 Department of Trauma Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Ching-Hua Hsieh
Department of Plastic Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, No. 123, Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Song District, Kaohsiung City 833
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/fjs.fjs_38_21

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Background: The use of helmets has been promoted worldwide to protect motorcyclists from head-and-neck injuries and to reduce motorcycle accident-related mortality. However, the results of previous studies regarding the effectiveness of different types of helmets are controversial. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of three types of helmets: half-helmets, open-face helmets, and full-face helmets, in protecting motorcyclists during traffic accidents. Materials and Methods: A total of 6991 motorcyclists, who were hospitalized between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019, were enrolled in this study. They were divided into two groups: those who did not wear helmets (n = 506) and those who wore helmets (n = 6,485). The latter group was subdivided according to the type of helmet used: half-helmet (n = 3,027), open-face helmet (n = 2,528), and full-face helmet (n = 930). The primary outcome was inhospital mortality. The length of hospital stay and associated head-and-neck injuries were secondary outcomes. Results: Half-helmets offered significantly less protection than full-face helmets, considering that patients using half-helmets had a significantly higher rate of the Abbreviated Injury Scale ≥ 2 injuries to the head region and significantly higher odds of sustaining subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), and intracerebral hematoma than patients using full-face helmets. However, higher odds of sustaining SAH were noted in patients using open-face helmets. There were no significant differences in the Glasgow Coma Scale score after injury or in the mortality rate in patients using either half-helmets or open-face helmets compared to those using full-face helmets. Conclusion: This study revealed that half-helmets, but not open-face helmets, offered significantly less protection from head injuries than full-face helmets. However, the mortality rate and length of hospital stay after the injury did not differ among patients using the three types of helmets.


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