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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 15(6); 2004 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2004;15(6): 492-497.
Injury Patterns of Front-seat Passengers without Seat Belts in Traffic Crashes
In Woo Hwang, Tae O Jeong, Young Ho Jin, Jae Baek Lee
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical School, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea. emjin@chonbuk.ac.kr
2Institute of Medical Science, Medical School, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
This study aimed to investigate the injury patterns of unrestrained front-seat passengers in traffic crashes.
METHODS:
Using 2000~2003 data from the Jeonbuk Provincial Police Agency and medical-chart review, we estimated the relationship between crash patterns and individual variables, such as age, sex, Injury Severity Score, prehospital care, outcome, injury types, passenger seats, velocity, and alcohol consumption. We also investigated whether the Injury Severity Score correlated with crash patterns, passenger seats, velocity, prehospital care, and alcohol consumption.
RESULTS:
The mean Injury Severity Scores in frontal and rollover crashes were 15.0(+/-0.7) and 22.6(+/-3.3), respectively and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). The mortality rate was higher in rollover crashes than in frontal crashes (p<0.05). The most common type of injury in unrestrained passengers during frontal and rollover crashes was head and face injury. In addition, chest and lumbar spine injuries were more common in rollover crashes than in frontal crashes, and this difference had statistical significance (p<0.05). The Injury Severity Score correlated with the crash patterns (rho=0.25, p<0.01), overspeeding (rho=0.44, p<0.01), prehospital care (rho=0.25, p<0.01), and alcohol consumption (rho=0.18, p<0.05).
CONCLUSION:
We estimate that rollover crashes are associated with an increased risk of injury to and death for frontseat passengers compared to frontal collisions. Knowledge of injury mechanisms should help emergency physicians to promptly evaluate all areas at risk, as well as the potential for fatality.
Key words: Accidents, Traffic, Injury severity score, Seat belts
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