• Article

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

Problem
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.

Method
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.

Results
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).

Discussion
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.

Citation

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

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