As biking becomes more popular, injuries are on the rise

The growing popularity of bicycles has come with a price — a sharp rise in both adults and children treated at University Hospital with severe injuries from bike crashes.

That was one of the highlights from University Health System’s second annual Community Trauma Report, which looks at major causes of serious injuries and trends in South Texas over a five-year period, using data from thousands of trauma patients seen at University Hospital. The report was released Thursday as families across the country prepare to take to the road for the holidays.

“With this, our second annual Community Trauma Report, we hope to continue an important conversation about the terrible cost of serious injuries in our region,” wrote Dr. John G. Myers, chief of trauma and emergency surgery, and professor of surgery at the UT Health Science Center, in the report’s introduction. “In order to make a significant dent in this problem, however, we need a communitywide commitment to safer driving, to safer streets and to safer homes. Each of us must encourage, expect and even demand responsible behavior from our family, friends, coworkers — and ourselves.”

University Hospital’s Level I trauma center treated 4,340 people— 3,246 adults and 1,094 children — in 2013. That was a 3 percent increase from 4,217 in 2012, and a 29 percent increase over a five-year period. Car crashes were the leading injury cause among trauma patients ages 10 to 44.

Find the complete report here.