Caribbean Medical Journal (Feb 2022)

Motorcycle Injuries: Socio-demographic, Temporal and Injury Patterns at a Regional Hospital in Jamaica

  • Dr Cary K. Fletcher


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Objective To describe the demographic profile, temporal and injury patterns of persons treated at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, Jamaica for injuries sustained following a motorcycle crash. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted over 28 months. Patients involved in motorcycle crashes who were managed in the emergency room, admitted directly to the surgical ward, or referred to the Orthopaedic Clinic, were included in the study. Patients were interviewed within 24 hours of presenting to the Orthopaedic service. Socio-demographic and injury-related data were collected. Results Of the 155 patients, 98.7% were males. Ages ranged from 14 to 64 years (median 28 years, IQR = 16.5); 47.1% were 20-29 years old and 20.3% were between 30-39 years old. Higher injury rates were observed for ‘holidays’ and ‘weekend days’ compared to ‘weekdays’: 53.8, 24.5, and 14.2 per 100-day type respectively. The most popularly reported contributory mechanism for injury were collision (47.4%, n=101), loss of control (38.0%, n= 81) and errant overtaking (14.6%, n=31). The commonest injured areas were the leg (18%), ankle (12%), forearm (12%) and thigh (11%). Conclusion Males less than 40 years accounted for most motorcycle injuries in the study. Motorcycle crashes occur substantially more during holidays and weekends, and affect mainly the legs. Mechanisms of injury suggest critical roles for preventative strategies in efforts to reduce morbidity and health system burdens from motorcycle crashes.