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University of Iowa News Release

 

July 12, 2010

At A Glance

UI researchers study RAGBRAI injuries

A University of Iowa Health Care study of injuries sustained during the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, could help organizers of the event better educate riders on safe riding practices and prepare medical services for certain quantities and types of injuries.

RAGBRAI is a seven-day, 500-mile recreational bicycle ride with more than 10,000 participants. The UI researchers examined paramedic records for patients requiring transport to a hospital from the bike routes between 2004 and 2008.

A total of 419 RAGBRAI participants received care from paramedics in that five-year period. Of those cyclists, 190 required transport to a hospital.

The study shows that females and older males are more likely to require transport for injuries sustained on RAGBRAI, with the majority of injuries occurring around the head and arms. Most injuries were caused by rider-to-rider contact or rider error.

Cases involving dehydration and heat stroke were correlated with high temperatures.

The research team included Paul Boeke; Mark Graber, M.D., clinical professor of emergency medicine; and Hans House, M.D., clinical associate professor of emergency medicine. The study will appear in the September issue of the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

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