Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)


STUDY Nearly half of Sikhs brought to hospital with such injuries couldn’t be saved

- Rhythma Kaul rhythma.kaul@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: Turbans do not protect against severe head injury, found a study done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) Trauma Centre.

Close to half of the Sikhs brought to the AIIMS Trauma Centre’s emergency died following road traffic accidents, compared to one in three of non-Sikhs, found an analysis of 764 road traffic accident cases that occurred between January 2014 and June 2015.

Of the 270 road-accident victims with severe head injury, 16 were Sikhs.

Sikhs are exempt from wearing helmets when riding two-wheelers. Apart from religious reasons, many Sikhs don’t wear helmets because of they believe the cushioning offered by the many folds of the turban protect the head from injury.

“The percentage of deaths in these patients — nearly 50% of the Sikh accident victims succumbed to the injury — shows it is a myth that a turban provides safety and can be substitute­d for helmet,” said Dr Deepak Agrawal, additional professor, department of neurosurge­ry, AIIMS, who conducted the study.

The AIIMS Trauma Centre gets about 200 injury cases in a day, of which about 40% suffer head or spine injury.

Head injury, no matter how minor, causes some form of brain damage, which is irreversib­le. The extent of damage is often not obvious immediatel­y obvious, with the effect of brain function sometimes becoming apparent over a period of time.

“Damage to brain from severe head injury is nearly 100% irreversib­le, while minor injuries causes 20% to 30% damage, which can lead to long-term problems, such as impaired brain function, lowered IQ, etc,” said Dr Agrawal.

Forcing people to wear a helmet is not a solution. “Now that we know turban provides no protection, we need to look for ways to devise helmets that go over the turban. The reason for conducting the study was to have an evidence-backed argument while counsellin­g the families of victims,” he says.

More than 50% of the accident victims brought to AIIMS Trauma Centre Emergency were not wearing a helmet when they had the accident. “The deaths could be halved if people were wearing a helmet, especially pillion riders,” said Dr Agrawal.

Delhi reported 1,622 deaths in road accidents— during the year 2015, reveals a latest government data.

The percentage of deaths in these patients—nearly 50% of the Sikh accident victims succumbed to the injury—shows it is a myth that a turban provides safety and can be substitute­d for helmet. Dr DEEPAK AGRAWAL, All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India