Head Injuries

5-24-97
Less than 1/5 of motorcycle accidents result in head injuries. These statistics were received from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Loyola Medical/Trauma Center of Maywood, and University of IL-Chicago Campus, all in IL. Most injuries to motorcyclists occur from the neck down.

In cases of instant death, the victim usually suffers from Aortic Dissection (Laymen's Terms, the heart separates from the arteries & veins when the victim goes flying through the air). This happens more frequently in automobile crashes than in motorcycle crashes.

You will also find that if you contact any given hospital in the world that you will find in an intensive care unit a patient with a head injury is more than likely to be a victim of something other than a motorcycle accident.

The "Social Burden" studies are mostly performed at County facilites where the consensus of the patients have no medical insurance of any type. This study not only dwells on motorcyclists but on all accident victims. When the issue of helmet laws is brought into focus, our legislators don't poll those of us who ride with insurance, they contact the county facilities or the Public Welfare Depts. to close in on those receiving state funding.

Rockville, MD, is where the main branch of the US' studies have been done that influence our legislators. Washington, D.C., has the largest population of "social burden" victims in this country. This is where our statistics are based on.

The statistics are also based upon the following criteria: race & gender of the victim. It's not fair, but it's true. Minorities with poor income or no income who ride motorcycles, have accidents, and then are taken to county facilities for treatment. I'm sure there are other medical facilities that take accident victims, but from my own ER experience, if they don't have insurance, many times they are not received into that ER without any type of insurance. There are even times when victim's have died in the ambulance due to the fact that the first ER refused to care for them, because they had no insurance.

My biggest pet peeve regarding "social burden", is women who don't believe in birth control, who are or were babies themselves having babies & still continue to have more babies & then live off of their states & the federal welfare program. Why is it these women thrive on living off of the system, but those of us who have worked all of our lives have a hard time getting assistance when we need it so badly?!

Rebel Ruthi, RN
Trauma Research Consultant, Legal Nurse Consultant


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