SPECIAL REPORT: Monterey County Bike Safety Part 3

Monterey County Bike Safety Part 3

SALINAS, Calif. - In the last of the three part Brain Smart series --- KION looked into the most common injury that can result from bike accidents.

Dr. Christopher Burke is the medical director at Natividad Medical Center and says, "Scraping the skin on the asphalt, on the road and a lot of broken bones, broken arms, occasionally broken legs, chest and abdominal trauma, we've kind of seen it all."

There's one injury doctors see more than any other.

"A lot of concussions from bicycle accidents. Even with the helmets without the helmets it would be even worse, and possibly life threatening,” said Dr. Burke.

A concussion is a head injury that most people have heard of, but might be fuzzy on the details.

"Basically a bruising to your brain on the inside of your skull. So it happens both on the impact itself and also going from a high rate of speed to decelerating suddenly,” said Dr. Burke.

While people can get concussed from hitting their head that's not always the case.

"It can actually, even with cycling, if you're going at a high rate of speed and you fall and don't even hit your head, you can even sometimes suffer a concussion just from the quick deceleration injury,” said Dr. Burke.

"Their body stops moving but their brain keeps flying in their cranium,” said Natividad Medical Center second year resident, Bret Namihas.

Sports medicine physician, Dr. Debi Siljander said there are some signs to look out for that could indicate a concussion.

“Can they carry on a conversation, do they know what's going on, are their pupils equal, are they having any balance issues?” said Dr. Siljander.

It might be good to know symptoms, but self-diagnosis isn't always right.

Dr. Siljander said, “I always say, when in doubt, get it checked out.”

See a doctor if you think you could have a concussion not doing so could lead to some serious consequences.

"You can have post-concussion syndrome and that's if you're not doing the appropriate treatment and healing, if you haven't really been evaluated, you might go back to screen time too quickly or you may do some of these and that might lead to a prolonged state,” said Dr. Siljander.

Dr. Burke said, "Someone without a helmet could suffer some grave consequences. Anything from a serious concussion, to internal bleeding in the brain, to external bleeding from a serious laceration, and could suffer significant consequences."

To find out more about concussions and how to keep you and your family safe, visit the brain smart website through Natividad Medical Center. 

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