helmets, motorcycles and paramedics... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-16-2009, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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helmets, motorcycles and paramedics...

Couldn't find a more appropriate forum...

MDH brought up an interesting statistic from the States. If you count only actual motorcyle accidents (not riders) and compare the number of fatalities by state, those states that do NOT have helmet laws have a higher fatality rate than those that mandate helmets. I thought that didn't make sense. He said he thought it was because the paramedics remove the helmet at the scene and in doing so cause major damage to a neck/spinal injury caused by the accident.

My questions are: 1. as a paramedic (not that I'm asking anyone specifically), what would you do on the scene? My own limited first aid training says do not remove clothing, footwear, headgear or anything unless it interferes with Airway, Breathing, Circulation. So, if the helmet strap isn't interfering, I'd leave it alone. However, I don't have any support equipment either.

Second question: When could a spinal injury be fatal?

Third: anyone else have any idea why the statistic could look so backward?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-16-2009, 09:54 PM
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I'm confused. I'm not sure if you mistyped it or not. What I'm reading is that the states that have no helmet laws have the higher fatality rate. Is that what you meant? Or did you mean it the other way around?

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-17-2009, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, farmpony, you've got it right. That's why I questioned it. It seems backwards. You'd think WITH a helmet would have lower fatality rates rather than the reverse.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 08:25 AM
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That does seem odd... but regardless I would wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. My brother-in-law lives in TX and last fall was in a really bad reck while riding his bike out of dallas. He ended up with 2 broken ribs, puctured lung, broken leg, and really bad road rash despite wearing his gear (but would have been way worse with out the gear)... but the biggest thing was his helmet. The doctors said that without it he wouldnt be here today. The helmet took such an impact that it caused it to crack... without it on his head it would have been his head not his helmet.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 09:49 AM
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I've been riding a bike for a long as I've owned horses (~30 years). Both NY and PA, when I lived there had helmet laws and if I remember correctly, the rate of fatality or massive injuries were lower. (Since I moved to SC in late 2000, PA has rescinded the helmet law).

SC has no helmet law and nearly every motorcycle wreck I hear about on the news involves a fatality with the driver not wearing a helmet. I've not heard of any wrecks where the driver died or was crippled due to the use of a helmet.

Personally, I wear a full face, flip up helmet even though I don't need to by law - (but I usually ride on the edge anyway with my current bike - a 1,200cc sport touring Triumph).

Triumph left side.JPG

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 09:56 AM
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glad to know you wear a helmet... and nice bike too!!!!

My brother has a bike too and wears a full faced helmet- it helps with bugs and stuff. It may be a little warm with it on but worth it. He also has a jacket that has extra padding (kinnda like a built in vest) around the chest area and elbows. he really likes it.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 11:07 AM
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I was a paramedic for 5 years. and first off you are trained to NEVER remove the helmet (unless their life depends on it), you strap it down to secure the spine. Now they do cut of the front for air way management. Its the same as in football, they'll leave the helmet on and cut the face mask off. Since i live in michigan and wearing helmets is a law i never came across lots of incidents where someone wasn't wearing one.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-19-2009, 10:29 PM
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That is odd.... I remember in drivers ED lol they passed a picture of a guy who was on a motorcycle and was not wearing a helmet when he crashed (on gravel) and in the pic all you could see was his eyes the rest of his face was red bloody (looked like brains to me) there was no skin, he looked like a glob monster lol but he died shortly after they took the pic of infection. it was really really grosse.... And my dad had a friend who was on a motorcylce and was creamed by a big rig (not even a helmet would have saved him). I stay away from motorcycles....i keep my nice big truck (extra protection)

But i remember seeing this article about how horse riders who dont wear helmets versus motorcycle riders who dont wear helmets and it said more horse rider accident without helmets were more common than motorcycles without helmets which i found odd...I would have thought it was the other way around?

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post #9 of 10 Old 02-20-2009, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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iride -- nice bike! drool! MDH wants a Harley again one day, but a softtail and wants one for me... I said, No thank you -- I want a Triumph!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-27-2009, 12:00 PM
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Nice bike Bill!!!

My brother sold his bike shortly after moving to Branson, Mo. TOO MANY LOST TOURISTS!!! I've never seen so many people back up at red lights to get in another lane as I have seen in my 10 + years living around here.

It just wasn't safe to ride around here. Too many things to look at and too may lost people, bikers don't get the attention they deserve on the road anyways, let alone is a tourist mecca.

Funny story though, I was sitting at a 2 lane red light and saw a biker get cut off something fierce by the car beside me (right before we pulled up to the red light). It was BAD, the bike had to go into oncoming traffic to not get hit. As we all stopped at the red light the biker got off his ride, took his helmet off and walked up to the car that cut him off... it was road rage...so I guess not funny, but the biker proceeded to yell at the guy in the car, the guy just kept looking forward ignoring the biker....which only made the biker more angry, the biker then took the helmet and SMASHED the guys window and said......WATCH OUT FOR BIKERS &^%&^%..... I gasped and had to squelch the giggle rising in me....All of this happened in a matter of a couple minutes tops. The guy got back on his bike and rode off. The light turned green and I drove off.....I don't know what happened after that but I hope the guy in the car learned a lesson...

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Last edited by Dumas'_Grrrl; 02-27-2009 at 12:06 PM.
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