Researchers Say Seatbelts Protect Against Severe Liver Injuries
May 2, 2018 (reuters.com) According to an online report from reuters.com, new research indicates that seatbelts can protect motorists from severe liver injuries during a car crash.*
While seatbelt use cannot completely prevent liver injuries during a vehicle accident, it can prevent severe liver injuries that are more likely to lead to death. Researchers recently analyzed information regarding 50,000 people who suffered liver injuries from vehicle accidents and found that people with severe injuries were twice as likely to die as people with mild or moderate liver injuries.
In addition, the researchers found people who were wearing seatbelts during their vehicle accidents were far less likely to suffer severe liver injuries. That likelihood dropped even further if the accident victims also had airbags in their vehicles. However, airbag deployment by itself did not seem to affect the likelihood for liver injuries. Only coupled with seatbelt use did airbags have an effect.
Vehicle accidents result in 2 million emergency room encounters every year in the United States and almost $1 trillion in health care charges. One of the most common injuries from car accidents is abdominal trauma, specifically injuries to the liver and spleen that cause serious bleeding. While the spleen can be removed, the liver is vital for survival.
Researchers found that people wearing seatbelts were 21 percent less likely to have severe liver injuries that can result in death, and people who also had airbags were 26 percent less likely to have severe liver injuries. The study authors are using this information to drive home the point that even if people have airbags, they still need to use seatbelts. The point might seem common sense, but seatbelts are extremely important in the event of an accident.
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