A Blunt Introduction to Trauma


This weekend I was on the receiving end of a heavy metal bolt, attached to a large attic door thought to be securely in place. Such a fan of DIY!

The timing could not have been more perfect. Whilst walking through to fetch the paint brush, the swing of the door reached such a speed it took me off my feet (via the head) thus projecting into the second bedroom horizontally.

After an initial squeak and short minutes silence, enough to make other people present start to get extremely worried (so pleased they care!) I woke up feeling absolutely sick. Hangovers are a complete pushover (no pun intended) now in comparison.

Most sensible people would probably have called the out of hours doctor, especially now given the new aerodynamic fashioned dent in my cranium. But in spite of the discomfort this was quite a silver lining given the current direction of work at Headkayse…

According to my calculations this event represented approximately ¼ (ok maybe a bit less but I’m milking it!) of the minimum level of trauma a persons brain would receive in a moving cycling accident if not wearing a helmet. The event to be honest although absolutely mind-numbingly painful was nothing compared to the awful swelling and internal discomfort as a result no less than 24 hours post whack.

My concern is an EPS (expanded polystyrene) helmet, probably dominating at least 95% of current cycle helmets on the market. Would not have received adequate velocity in this environment of accident (just on the road of course) to crumple / actually do its job and squish. Due to its rigid structure, the energy of the blow (although cosmetic protection from the metal bolt would have been ok) would have travelled through the helmet and into the head at pretty much 100% efficiency. So if I were using a road bike with those pedals that trap the inexperienced users feet and collapse in an amateur heap on the side of the road, a head blow on the curb at this speed would still cause no end of discomfort and quite frankly pretty harsh damage to the head.

This makes me very concerned as this speed could also be likened to kids cycling when still learning, mountain bikers going downhill and hitting trees etc.. in fact most of the actual situations that are non fatal.

OK probably a bit harsh but I’ll blame the knock!

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