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Barts and the London charity appeal to help fund more research in to causes of cycling injures plus emergency treatment and rehabilitation

A medical charity with ties to a London hospital where hundreds of seriously injured cyclists have been treated has formally launched a Safe Cycling Appeal to raise an initial sum of £650,000.

Barts and The London Charity says that the money will fund research into the causes of injuries suffered by cyclists, help improve emergency treatment and rehabilitation of victims, and how to prevent casualties in the first place.

At the end of January, the charity hosted a seminar chaired by broadcaster Jon Snow, who is also president of national cyclists’ organisation, CTC, and which addressed the question: “Can advances in medicine and research at Barts Health impact the number of killed or seriously injured people from cycling incidents?”

The charity, linked to the Royal London Hospital – home to London’s biggest trauma centre, where hundreds of seriously injured cyclists have been treated in the last decade – has now put full details of the seminar, including videos of the presentations, on its website.

As we reported earlier this month, one of the topics addressed was the potential introduction of a database costing £130,000 to develop of incidents in which cyclists had been seriously injured.

The charity, which is linked to the Royal London Hospital, home to London’s biggest trauma centre and which has treated hundreds of seriously injured cyclists in the last decade, has now put full details of the seminar, including videos of the presentations, on its website.

There is also a dedicated page giving details of each of the projects for which funding is being sought.

The charity says:

For every person killed on our roads, countless others are injured and the shattering knock-on effect of these preventable events cannot be measured.

We are in a unique position to raise funds to support immediate and long term innovations. Our initial target is £650,000, 100% of which will go directly to improve our understanding of why injury happens, impact emergency treatment and patient rehabilitation, and inform effective injury prevention strategies.

These issues affect everyone. Encouraging and making cycling safer has significant and wide-reaching benefits for ALL road users… Recent research shows that the NHS would save £250 million a year if we completed one in ten journeys by bicycle, with the cost of treating heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancers falling by 5%.

You can make a donation to the Safe Cycling Appeal by following this link.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

12 comments

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ChairRDRF [308 posts] 2 years ago
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"...research into the causes of injuries suffered by cyclists..."

This is probably just me, but I have this thing about a lot of it being to do with people not driving motor vehicles according to the rules, laws and regulations when in the vicinity of cyclists (and other road users) . And yes, I also think that's more important than what cyclists do to themselves.

I do think cyclists should behave properly to pedestrians and cyclists when they can endanger them - but then since motorists are the main potential danger to them, we're back to motorists again.

But that's probably just me.

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 2 years ago
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This shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Far better to spend £650000 addressing the cause of the problem rather than understanding the cure. I pretty sure already the only finding they will make is that "helmets save lives". The fact is not getting hit by a car/lorry in the first place if a far better option. Spend the money on identifying why cyclist's get hit by motor vehicles, and here's a clue it's not because they can't be seen, and then the whole injury issue becomes moot.

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HarrogateSpa [371 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Far better to spend £650000 addressing the cause of the problem rather than understanding the cure.

To be fair, the article does mention injury prevention strategies, which could include not getting hit in the first place.

The people at the hospital are acutely aware of the results of our dangerous roads, as they see and treat the casualties. I think their input is valuable. The doctors and other staff are intelligent, and work on the basis of evidence not prejudice and assumptions. I doubt they will end up just telling cyclists to wear helmets.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

I doubt they will end up just telling cyclists to wear helmets.

I bet you they do...

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md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
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If they are looking at the causes and types of injury then I doubt they'll fall back to just helmets, as from what i understand the majority of deaths are crush injuries that a helmet wouldn't prevent. At least, that's my understanding from the news articles, internet recieved wisdom, and unfortunately having seen a few crashes/incidents. A helmet won't stop your body being squashed so would be unlikely to be their recommendation i would've thought.

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ChairRDRF [308 posts] 2 years ago
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Harrogatespa writes:

"The doctors and other staff are intelligent, and work on the basis of evidence not prejudice and assumptions. "

I'm sorry, but on the basis of 30 years of working through what doctors on others recommend, I have to disagree. Sometimes yes, very often, no.

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A V Lowe [576 posts] 2 years ago
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If the investigations are holistic, thorough, and objective, and the results are fully published - like those for air and rail crashes - than I believe we may have a big step in the right direction.

It would really be wonderful if a report on a crash spells out the hazards that caused it, and the risks management that can mitigate, where the hazards cannot be totally eliminated, as well as analysing the injuries and how these were influenced by the causal factors of the incident.

If it delivers something even slightly more objective that most of the all too rare Coroner's Prevention of Future Deaths reports, then lest see it happening.

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oozaveared [940 posts] 2 years ago
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Actually this could be money well spent. At the moment there is a big hoo hah about helmets. vis Chris Boardman having to find strategies to get through that question and on to the real issues.

I watched a BBC breakfast telly programme last year and he was being interviewed and there was footage of him riding without a helmet. Both presenters zeroed in on this and wouldn't let go. He ended up saying he didn't want to get into the helmets issue because it wasn't relevant. After the interview there was a comment by one presenter that implied CB didn't want to talk about helmets because he was being irresponsible not wearing one.

So if the main hospital in the UK treating cyclists injured it RTCs gives us a definitive report then it will make Boardman's life a lot easier. Most cyclist killed or seriously suffer crushing or blunt trauma to the torso.

Anyway knowledge is power. Paramedics need info on likeliest internal injuries. possible complications and best ways top treat. So some cyclists may well get better immediate treatment as well.

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gazza_d [462 posts] 2 years ago
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I have misgivings about some of of this.

While collecting data and analysing information about injuries is good and valid, some of the aims seem odd to me, and great care is going to be needed with the analysis and conclusions.

Using the data collected by injured cyclists to analyse LA interventions, and analysing injury risk based solely on the people coming though the ED doors will need to be done carefully.
It needs to be compared with the levels of people cycling at the same location that are not getting injured.

It would be very easy to analyse the data and find as that the majority of injuries were to the head, that helmets would be a good thing. IF that sample was only a very small sample of the number of cyclists overall though, then the conclusion would be bogus.

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
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The transfer of large amounts of kinetic energy from a moving object to the human body is what causes injuries. See http://theemtspot.com/2010/10/24/understanding-kinetic-energy-and-trauma/ for an insight into the maths

The money would be better spent preventing the energy transfer from taking place in the first instance. Anything else is a sticking plaster over a stab wound.

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Paul_C [468 posts] 2 years ago
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The subject of helmets has nothing to do with this...

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3817?ijkey=I5vHBog6FhaaLzX&keytype=ref

this is people being squished on London's streets by large vehicles because of terrible infrastructure. Helmets will not save you here when you've gone under the wheels of a juggernaut or bus, only serious intervention by very highly skilled medical staff. What matters here is preventing people being squished in the first place through the use of proper Dutch type infrastructure that separates cyclists and pedestrians from vehicular traffic and gives them priority so that they're not tempted to keep in the road to keep travel time down, not whether they should or shouldn't be wearing a helmet.

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oozaveared [940 posts] 2 years ago
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workhard wrote:

The transfer of large amounts of kinetic energy from a moving object to the human body is what causes injuries. See http://theemtspot.com/2010/10/24/understanding-kinetic-energy-and-trauma/ for an insight into the maths

The money would be better spent preventing the energy transfer from taking place in the first instance. Anything else is a sticking plaster over a stab wound.

But we want both surely. We definitely do want preventative measure but we also want medical teams to have the most comprehensive data on injuries, complications and care strategies as well.