Injury Patterns and Discharge Dispositions in BC Motorcycle Accident Victims: A Retrospective Chart Analysis

Shawna Sweet, Noah Alexander, Sarah Foster, Marcio Penner, Erika Penner, Murray Penner


Objective: Motorcycle ridership is rising in Canada. Though motorcycling injuries have been studied in the United States, Europe and Asia, there is a paucity of Canadian studies. We provide a descriptive analysis of injury patterns in motorcycle crash victims and their relationship to discharge disposition and length of hospital stay.
Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients involved in a motorcycle crash and admitted to Vancouver General Hospital between April 2001 and December 2009 (N = 567). We extracted data from the ICD-10 coded Discharge Abstract Database, and re-coded injuries into overarching anatomical categories. Discharge dispositions were recorded as they appeared in patient charts.
Results: Riders tended to be male (89.2%) and had a mean age of 37.2. The average length of stay was 14.4 days. The most common injuries were tibial fractures (N = 108, 19% of cases), forearm fractures (N = 105, 18.5%), and rib fractures (N = 92, 16.2%). Most riders were discharged home (N = 403, 70.0%), and these patients most commonly sustained tibial and forearm fractures (N = 70, 17.4% for each). Those who remained in hospital were most likely to have sustained injuries to the pelvis (N = 43, 29.3%), cervical spine (N = 38, 25.9%), or thoracic spine (N = 37, 25.2%). Among the 14 patients (2.5%) who expired, the most common injuries were intracranial haemorrhage, rib fracture, haemothorax, liver injury, and cervical spine fracture (N = 5, 35.7% for each).
Conclusions: The results provide a starting point to help physicians predict injuries in motorcycle crash victims, as well as predict their dispositions.

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Sweet S, Alexander N, Foster S, Penner M, Penner E, Penner M. Injury Patterns and Discharge Dispositions in BC Motorcycle Accident Victims: A Retrospective Chart Analysis. UBCMJ 2013 5(1):10-14.