They used to be known as "high-velocity injuries", but now injuries sustained from scrambler and quad bike accidents are referred to as "catastrophic’ spinal cord injuries", devastating injuries that can have a range of life-altering consequences for the person hurt, their family and others. 

And yet scrambler and quad bikes are still very popular Christmas presents for many people around the country, particularly those under 18 years of age. 

Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke, Dr Keith Synnott made the argument against buying such bikes for your loved ones due to their incredibly dangerous nature.

As Orthopaedic Consultant at the National Spinal Injuries Unit in the Mater Hospital, Dr Synnott has seen many quad-related "injuries beyond treatment", with 75% of those occurring in the under 18s bracket. 

Explaining that in the past these injuries would be called "high-velocity injuries", he highlighted how the current terminology for them more adequately describes how devastating they are. "The word we use now unsurprisingly is ‘catastrophic’ spinal cord injuries, leading to what is usually permanent paralysis", he added. 

He said that due to the nature of these injuries "with people falling off often unstable machines at high velocity with a lack of control", the consequences can be fatal and most often life-changing. 

While Dr Synnott typically treats the drivers of such vehicles, he mentions that accidents have had tragic consequences for others too. The difficulty with scrambler and quad bikes is that they are unregulated vehicles with a high chance of causing accidents, especially when used by younger, less mature drivers. 

"You think you’re out having a bit of fun, you think it’s something very straightforward and simple but they’re high-velocity heavy machines, they can cause unexpected injuries", he said. 

To listen back to their conversation, click here