"Crash-Scene Research Eyes Hidden Injuries"



"Crash-Scene Research Eyes Hidden Injuries"

Crash-Scene Research Eyes Hidden Injuries
Mon Jan 13, 8:28 AM ET
By SIOBHAN McDONOUGH, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Rattled but apparently not badly hurt, Marie Helen Jadotte walked away from a car wreck, going to a hospital only at a police officer's insistence. She was shocked to hear she had a life-threatening liver injury.

In fact, in the frantic rush after an accident, serious injuries often can go undetected without close observation by emergency crews...

...In one pattern detected by the network, experts noticed that in side-impact crashes, there's a greater potential for aorta injuries even without the chest being crushed. The shape of the chest changes and puts stress on the aorta, Augenstein said. The aorta is the main artery carrying blood from the heart.

It also was learned that with older seat-belt systems, if drivers wore only the shoulder strap, they could suffer severe liver injuries in a low-speed crash because of pressure caused by having the shoulder belt wrapped around the abdomen. If the lap belt is worn, pressure is on the pelvis and parts of the body more able to withstand the sudden stop, Augenstein said.

More recently, CIREN has taken a close look at side air bags, noting that in some vehicles the bag only protects the driver's or passenger's chest, leaving the head exposed. There is no federal requirement for side air bags...

...Among the details emergency crews are asked to watch for and document: whether the driver or passenger was wearing a seat belt and if so, whether the entire device was worn; whether the air bag deployed; whether the steering wheel was bent; whether the vehicle rolled over or hit a pole...


Senior Community Member
This is so interesting to me. When I was a senior in high school, a guy a year younger than me crashed his pickup along a 55 mph stretch of highway that most people travel about 65-70 on. He declined ambulance transport, he felt fine, looked fine. Three days later he died at the dinner table in his parents' home. :(:(:(

They had no idea what had happened. When an autopsy was performed, he indeed had a liver injury, almost certainly caused by impact in the crash. :( I think everyone should get checked at a hospital after a crash.

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