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Ir J Med Sci. 2006 Jan-Mar;175(1):20-3.

Trends in RTA related spinal injuries: the post penalty points era.

Author information

1
National Spinal Injuries Unit, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

On October 31st 2002 a system of cumulative penalty points for road traffic offences was introduced. Early evidence suggested a reduction in road traffic accident (RTA) related morbidity.

AIMS:

To evaluate the persistence of the initial reduction in RTA related spinal injuries following penalty points introduction.

METHODS:

Retrospective review of all acute spinal trauma admissions to the NSIU between November 1st 1998 and October 31st 2004 (n = 966). Patient demographics and injury aetiology were assessed. Follow-up questionnaires evaluated RTA circumstances.

RESULTS:

RTA related spinal injuries accounted for 39.3% of NSIU admissions. These injuries were significantly more common in males aged 16-24, drivers (70.8%), on routine journeys (77.5%) and rural roads (48.8%). The highest proportion of accidents occurred during weekends (64.3% from Fri-Sun) and from midnight to 6am (29.3%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The initial reduction in RTA related spinal injuries has not been sustained. Young male drivers are the greatest at risk group.

PMID:
16615223
DOI:
10.1007/bf03168994
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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