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Journal of the Korean Society of Traumatology 2003;16(2):170-175.
Injuries from Airbag Deployment During Low Speed Accidents
Gyu Yeol Kim, M.D.*, Jeong Han Bae, M.D., Young Woo Seo, M.D., Hong Rae Cho, M.D.*, Eun Seok Hong, M.D.
Department of Surgery*
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, College of Medicine, Ulsan University
저속 추돌 사고 시 에어백 팽창에 의한 손상
울산대학교병원 외과*
In addition to lap and shoulder belt, automotive airbag has reduced the frequency of fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crash. Today, an increasing number of automobiles are being equipped with additional passive safety devices: driver and passenger airbags. With this increasingly frequent application of these safety features in automobiles, there are increasing number of reports about airbag-associated injuries including minor trauma on mainly head, face, eye, chest, and extremities. And also a little number of lethal injuries by airbag deployment were reported. That is even occurred at low velocity traffic collision. If the driver or passenger have his or her hand or arm across the steering wheel hub or torso move forward and contact with airbag module cover before airbag deployed especially if the lap-shoulder restrain is not worn, airbag deployment is then much more likely to cause serious injury even in the very low speed crash. In a review of literatures, the effectiveness of the passenger-side airbag and few data on passenger-side airbag related injury in the frontal crash doesn’t known in Korea, because most cars are equipped with only the driver’s side airbag and the low occupancy rate of the frontal passenger side airbag. This report describes three patients with severe injuries that were caused by airbag inflation during low velocity motor vehicle accidents. We should be aware of the explosive nature of airbag deployment and realize that the injury may be far greater than expected from a low energy motor vehicle accident.
Key Words: Airbag injury; Low velocity accident
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