Bicycles, Trauma Centers, and Injury Severity Scores
Two recent articles have motivated me to do another biking post. First up is this one, from Science Daily
Despite the wide-spread attention paid to the importance of wearing helmets, helmet use did not change during the time period of the study, and more than 33 percent of 329 bicycle injury victims had a significant head injury. Even more alarming, the number of chest injuries increased by 15 percent and abdominal injuries rose three-fold over the last five years. “We were astounded by that data,”
“We’re talking about injured spleens and livers, internal bleeding, rib fractures, and hemothorax [blood in the chest]. Those kinds of injuries are reflected by an increase in injury severity score,” he added.
The study was done in Denver, apparently a very bicycle friendly city. I would hate to see the data from Seattle’s Harborview trauma center.
In a nutshell, increased bike traffic without improved bike infrastructure = carnage. The only way to motivate politicians to prioritize bicycle infrastructure is to motivate their voting constituencies. The snarling car drivers should take a back seat. Life is a power struggle but it never hurts to hold the moral high ground when attempting to plant a meme.
The second post was from Treehugger. The picture of the little girl who lost both of her parents is just heartrending.