New Study Shows Seat Belts and Airbags May Help Protect from Kidney Injuries in Car Accidents
Preventing Connecticut Car Accidents
The American Urological Association (AUA) released results to a new study regarding car accidents and renal injuries (kidney injuries) in May at their 109th Annual Scientific Meeting.
Every year, car accidents lead to a substantial number of serious kidney injuries. Motor vehicle safety devices such as seat belts and airbags have saved countless lives and prevented injuries for many individuals involved in car accidents. Seat belts are designed to prevent chest and other internal injuries by dispersing the force of a collision across two of the body's sturdiest areas: the upper chest and the pelvis.
Air bags were designed to cushion the contact between a vehicle occupant from the steering wheel, dashboard and vehicle doors. Many individuals still do not take the use of these safety devices seriously, which prompted researchers to examine the effectiveness of protective devices on high-grade kidney injuries and nephrectomy rates. A nephrectomy is the surgery removal of a kidney.
Kidney Injuries and Car Accidents
For this new study, researchers from Baylor College, Advocate Illinois Medical Center and New York University examined car accident statistics from the National Trauma Data Bank that occurred in the United States from 2010 to 2011.
There were nearly 300,000 car accidents studied, according to the researchers. In those accidents, almost 2,600 kidney injuries occurred. The study also looked at the risk of nephrectomy.
- When airbags and seat belts were used together the risk of high-grade kidney injury was reduced by 23 percent and the rates of nephrectomy by more than 50 percent.
- Injured car accident victims without a protective device had a higher rate of high-grade renal injury (43 percent) compared to those who wore seat belts (40.1 percent), airbags (42.3 percent) and seat belts with airbags (34.1 percent).
- Injured car accident vitcims without a protective device increased the rate of nephrectomy by 47.5 percent compared to those wearing seat belts (23.7 percent), airbags (14.4 percent) and seat belts with airbags (14.4 percent).
- Blood in urine
- Swelling and/or fluid retention
- Frequent or urgent urination
- Severe flank or back pain
- Nausea or Vomiting
The hope of these findings is to help support the public awareness campaigns regarding motor vehicle safety and seat belt use and to further prevent serious kidney injuries as a result of car accidents.
Symptoms of Kidney Injury After a Car Accident
Your kidneys are usually well protected by strong muscles of the back and the rib cage, but serious injuries can occur as a result of a blunt or penetrating trauma. Some common symptoms of a kidney injury after a car accident include:
Determining Kidney Damage After a Connecticut Car Accident
Most renal injuries, between 85-90% of cases, according to the Merck Manual, result from blunt trauma, typically due to car accidents, falls or assaults. After a car accident there are several tests that medical professionals may perform to diagnose kidney failure or damage. In order to rule out kidney damage a kidney x-ray, abdominal CT scan or abdominal MRI can be used. Additionally, a renal scan can be conducted to check for proper blood flow through the kidneys or an intravenous pyelogram can be given to show the entire functionality of the organ.
Westport Car Accident Attorney
While a car accident can occur in an instant, the physical, emotional and monetary impact can last an entire lifetime. If you or a loved one has suffered renal failure or kidney damage as a result of a car accident you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, cost of care, lost work wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability or other related damages. Contact an experienced Westport personal injury lawyer to help determine what, if any, compensation you may be entitled to following your accident. Connecticut personal injury lawyer Richard Raphael also works with medical specialists and life care planners to help determine your expected needs. Call 203-226-6168 or fill out the online contact form.