Background Bicycle riding is an increasing trend in many countries, so accidents connected with cycling activities are also on the rise.
Data from the National Agency for Road Safety shows that in 2013 there were 1708 victims in accidents where a bicycle was involved, rising from 1405 in 2003.
While most accidents are not reported and do not require healthcare, more severe ones can be a cause for admission in Hospitals. Limb injuries are the most frequent, but chest/abdomen injuries and head injuries are also common.
Methods Data was collected from the Portuguese National Hospital Registry (GDH), where all admissions to hospitals in Portugal are registered and coded with ICD9 codes. We gathered data on all admissions, external cause admissions and admissions for ICD9 E826 code (Pedal cycle accident). We compared data between 2003 and 2013 from all hospitals in Portugal.
Results Between 2003 and 2013 there were a total 7170 admissions for bicycle related accidents (651 average each year).
In 2003 there were 652 admissions related to bicycling accidents, while in 2013 there were 725 (an 11% increase). Male patients account for 83,4% of those admissions in 2003 and 87,0% of those in 2013. When compared to the total external cause admissions, bicycle related admissions represent 0,57% in 2003 and 0,42% in 2013 (a 25,6% decrease). Comparison on proportions for total admissions also presents a 30,0% decrease: from 0,060% in 2003 to 0,043% in 2013.
Conclusions During the last 10 years there has been an increase in the total number of hospital admissions connected with bicycle accidents and injuries. Potential explanations include an increase in cycling as a radical sport (such as mountain biking or downhill riding) and as daily mean of transportation (mostly in the urban setting), but further studies are required.
- patient admission
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