JOURNAL ARTICLE

All-terrain vehicle-related hospitalizations in the United States, 2000-2004

James C Helmkamp, Paul M Furbee, Jeffrey H Coben, Allison Tadros
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2008, 34 (1): 39-45
18083449

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the incidence of all-terrain vehicle (ATV)-related injury hospitalizations in the United States from 2000 through 2004, and to describe the types of injuries and associated hospital costs for the entire population.

METHODS: Data for 2000 through 2004 were obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample--a stratified probability sample of 1004 community hospitals from 37 states. ATV injuries were defined by ICD-9-CM external cause of injury codes within E821. Variables included age, gender, primary diagnoses, patient disposition, primary payer, and hospital charges. Data were analyzed in 2007.

RESULTS: There were an estimated 58,254 ATV-related hospitalizations, increasing 90% over the 5-year period. Eighty percent were men. Thirty percent of the cases involved youth under age 18, and 8% were over age 60. Passengers accounted for 9% of the hospitalizations. Eighty-five percent were routinely discharged to home while 13% required long-term rehabilitation or home health care. Payers included private insurance (62%), Medicaid/Medicare (19%), and self-pay (12%). Rural hospitals treated 23% of the cases and urban teaching hospitals 47%. Estimated total hospital charges were about $1.1 billion (20% paid from public funds) with an average charge per patient of $19,671. Leading injuries included fractures of lower limbs (22%; mean hospital charges of $19,626), other fractures (15%; $18,873), and intracranial injuries (14%; $26,906). The overall hospital admission rate was 4.4 per 100,000 population with variation by year, gender, and age.

CONCLUSIONS: Voluntary industry and government safety efforts have had little impact on the increasing incidence and cost of ATV injuries. Renewed prevention efforts to making ATV riding safer are warranted.

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