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13 May 2009

I know that I blogged about bike helmets recently, but it being Bike Walk Week and all, here’s another reminder – wear a helmet when you bike. This Washington City Paper story has enough cautionary tales to last me forever.

Correctly worn, bike helmets are about 70 percent effective in preventing damage on impact. Mary Pat McKay, director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine, says that with those odds, she doesn’t understand why so many people continue to ride without a helmet. “If I had a magic pill to prevent 70 percent of heart attacks among people with heart disease, they’d want me to put it in the water….”

…No one realized anything was wrong until the next evening when Rico’s mom came home from her job at the Capitol Hilton and his bike was still there—he hadn’t gone to work. By then he’d been hemorrhaging internally for more than a day. Asking to go to the hospital is the last thing he remembers. He entered a coma and didn’t come out for a month….

…She has undergone about 30 surgeries, mostly trying to fix her leg, which will never be back to what it was. When listing Tyson’s injuries, it helps to start at one end of the body and work your way up or down, so as not to get lost or forget anything. She fractured her knee, leg, and pelvis. She lost the skin on her right forearm, hand, and leg (an “awesome” tattoo was a casualty as well). They couldn’t save her crushed hand, and after several surgical attempts, they amputated it and grafted skin from her legs and stomach onto the stump. A “good chunk” of her leg has grafted skin as well.  Tyson’s skull was fractured, along with both eye sockets, but she credits her helmet (which was pulverized after smashing for 80 feet between the surface of the asphalt and the undercarriage of the bus) with saving her life.

Come ON, people!

:: Washington City Paper

One Comment leave one →
  1. 16 May 2009 8:28 am

    You may appreciate this video, taken in Denmark, about a real program where cops stop bicyclists to hand out helmets and–believe it or not–hugs.

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