• Article

Using data linkage to assess the impact of motorized recreational vehicle-related injuries in Ohio


Conner, K., Xiang, H., Groner, J. I., & Smith, G. A. (2008). Using data linkage to assess the impact of motorized recreational vehicle-related injuries in Ohio. Journal of Safety Research, 39(5), 469-475. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2008.07.005

Motorized recreational vehicle (MRV)-related injuries can result in severe medical and financial consequences. The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology, and clinical and financial impact of MRV-related injuries in Ohio.

Probabilistically linked statewide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospital (inpatient and emergency department) data for 2003 and 2004 were examined. Record pairs with a MRV-related E-code (E821-E823, E825) were included in this study.

There were 2,893 patients with MRV-related injuries, who had linked EMS and hospital records, resulting in more than $15 million in hospital charges and 1,921 inpatient days of hospitalization. The male-to-female ratio was nearly 4:1, and 19% were younger than 16. Almost 82% of cases were not wearing a helmet; there was a trend of decreasing helmet use with increasing age. Mean (SE) inpatient hospital charges and length of stay (LOS) were $22,218 ($1,290) and 3.8 (0.2) days, respectively. The mean (SE) Injury Severity Score (ISS) for inpatients was 9.2 (0.4). Individuals injured on a street/highway were 3.20 times more likely to sustain an ISS ? 16 (95% CI: 1.03, 9.88; p = 0.044) and 3.05 times more likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) (95% CI: 1.17, 7.94; p = 0.024) than those who were injured at a place designated for sport or recreation. Children aged 12 to 15 and young adults aged 16 to 25 were 2.47 and 2.14 times more likely, respectively, to sustain a TBI than adults aged 36 or older (aged 12 to 15: 95% CI: 1.13, 5.38; p = 0.024; aged 16 to 25: 95% CI: 1.26, 3.64; p = 0.005). Higher ISS was associated with both higher total charges (p < 0.001) and longer LOS (p < 0.001).

This study demonstrates that MRV-related injuries are an important public health problem in Ohio, with a substantial clinical and financial impact.

Impact on Industry
Enactment and enforcement of statewide MRV safety legislation and training of MRV users offer valuable opportunities to prevent these costly injuries.