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Seat belts help protect liver in car crashes

Many people are treated for crash-related injuries in Minnesota emergency rooms every year. Many of those injuries involve the liver, an organ that humans cannot survive without. According to a study, seat belts do not completely prevent liver injuries, but they can help reduce their severity.

For the study, researchers analyzed federal crash data to find people who suffered liver injuries in car accidents. They identified over 50,000 patients who suffered such injuries between 2010 and 2015. All the patients were 18 years old or older, and all were either admitted to a hospital or died en route or while in the emergency room.

Researchers found that patients wearing seat belts reduced their chances of suffering a severe liver injury by 21 percent. Patients who had air bags in their car and wore seat belts reduced their chances by 26 percent. However, patients who only used air bags did not reduce their risk at all. Overall, 15 percent of the patients included in the study suffered a severe liver injury. Of those patients, 85 percent survived. The rest of the patients suffered low-grade or moderate liver injuries. Of those, more than 92 percent survived. The authors of the study said that it is important for drivers and passengers to always wear their seat belts.

People who have been injured in a car accident often require lengthy periods of medical care and treatment. If the crash was caused by the negligence of another driver, an attorney could be of assistance in seeking appropriate compensation.

Source: Reuters, "Seatbelts may protect against severe liver injury in car crashes", Mary Gillis, May 2, 2018

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