The Association of Payer Status and Injury Patterns in Pediatric Bicycle Injuries

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Journal of Surgical Research


Background: Bicycle injuries continue to cause significant morbidity in the United States. How insurance status affects outcomes in children with bicycle injuries has not been defined. We hypothesized that payer status would not impact injury patterns or outcomes in pediatric bicycle-related accidents. Methods: The National Trauma Data Bank was used to identify pediatric (≤18 y) patients involved in bicycle-related crashes admitted in year 2016. Patients with private insurance were compared with all others (uninsured, Medicaid, and Medicare). Results: There were 5619 patients that met study criteria. Of these, 2500 (44%) had private insurance. Privately insured were older (12 y versus 11, P < 0.001), more likely to be white (77% versus 56%, P < 0.001), and more likely to wear a helmet (26% versus 9%, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with traumatic brain injury included age (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.08; P < 0.001) and helmet use (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.55-0.74; P < 0.001). Patients without private insurance were significantly less likely to wear a helmet (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.44-0.63; P < 0.001). Uninsured patients had significantly higher odds of a fatal injury (OR, 4.43; 95% CI, 1.52-12.92; P = 0.006). Conclusions: Uninsured children that present to a trauma center after a bicycle accident are more likely to die. Although helmet use reduced the odds of traumatic brain injury, minorities and children without private insurance were less likely to be helmeted. Public health interventions should increase helmet access to children without private insurance, especially uninsured children.

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