Background: Injuries and deaths among riders of off-road motorized all-terrain vehicles are increasing in the US. We hypothesized that serious injuries in Oregon have increased among riders of both four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles. Study design: We analyzed the Oregon Trauma Registry. Seriously injured patients treated in the state's designated urban and rural trauma centers were identified using E-codes (821.0 to 821.9), which indicate whether patients were riding either an off-road all-terrain four-wheel vehicle (ATV) or off-road two-wheeled motorcycle (ORMC). Second, we performed a supplemental analysis of similar patients in the trauma registry of Oregon's University-based tertiary care trauma center. Patients in earlier time periods were compared with those in later time periods. Results: Patients injured riding off-road vehicles and needing treatment in Oregon's trauma centers increased 76%. Sixty percent of patients were injured riding an ATV, and 35% were injured riding an ORMC. Children (aged younger than 15 years) were 20% and 23% of patients in the earlier and later years. At Oregon's University-based Level I trauma center, in the years 2002 to 2005, more than twice as many patients needed tertiary care for severe injuries caused by off-road vehicle crashes compared with the previous 4 years. Conclusions: There has been an alarming increase in the number of both ATV and ORMC riders requiring treatment in Oregon's trauma centers. Surgeons need to join a coalition of health care providers, citizens and public officials to implement a comprehensive injury-prevention response to this epidemic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas