The impact of mandatory helmet law on the outcome of maxillo-facial trauma: a comparative study in Kerala

INTRODUCTION: Motorcyclists comprise the majority of road-traffic victims in low and middle income countries,and consequently, the majority of the road-traffic victims globally. Simple measures can be taken to make it safer on the roads, which include enforcement of safety measures like seat belt and helmets. The compulsory Helmet law was enforced in Kerala on 18/06/07. Resistance to legislation on motorcycle helmets still coexists world wide with debate on the effec-tiveness of helmets. In an attempt to analyze the protective effect of helmets on facial injuries a comparative study was conducted in Government Dental College, Calicut, which is a major trauma centre in northern Kerala. METHODS: Data for the present study was obtained from the patients who have reported to the Emergency Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Government Dental College, Calicut, for a period of 6 months immediately after the implementation of strict helmet rule in Kerala. For the study all patients with a history of non-fatal motor cycle accident sustaining facial injuries were included. The results were compared with the study conducted in the same institution in the pre law period. RESULTS: The study demonstrates the protective effect of motorcycle helmets in decreasing the morbidity of maxillofacial trauma.There was a marked decrease in incidence of motorcycle-related injuries, remarkable increase in helmet usage and better outcome in helmeted individuals in the post law period. CONCLUSION: Road traffic injury control is a public health problem. Health and medical professionals have an ethical responsibility to educate and arrange for the safety of individuals. Helmets are effective in preventing or reducing the severity of motorcycle-related injuries and in a developing country like India, enforced mandatory motor cycle helmet law is potentially one of the most cost effective interventions available.

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  • Accession Number: 01532676
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 16 2014 1:30PM