After being rapidly transported to the CBMH Trauma & Emergency Center, it was found that the patient presented with the following injuries: multiple deep lacerations, rib fractures, a stable pelvic fracture, and a significant abrasion over the chest bearing testament to the life saving mechanism of her seat belt (as seen right).
Our patient was discharged on Sunday after being carefully monitored in the ICU and subsequently cared for in the general wards.
- The lap and shoulder belt must be properly adjusted.
- In a collision, large forces are at work. In order to minimize the effects of these forces on vehicle occupants, automotive engineers design seat belts to hold drivers and passengers securely in their seats, allowing them to ride out the crash and avoid major contact with the vehicle interior.
- When lap and shoulder belts are used properly, they spread the collision forces over the stronger areas of the body’s skeleton.
1. Buckle the seat belt, making sure the latch clicks firmly into place.
2. Adjust the lap belt so that it fits snugly across your hips and not your abdomen.
3. Make sure the shoulder belt retracts so that it fits snugly across your chest and over your shoulder.
4. Never wear your shoulder belt under your arm. In a collision, your upper body will pivot forward and your head will strike the vehicle interior. The belt will press into your abdomen and likely cause serious or even fatal injuries to internal organs.
5. If you’re pregnant, take extra care when adjusting your seat belt. Sit as upright as you can, and wear the lap belt under your abdomen and as low over the hips as possible. The shoulder strap should go between your breasts and off to the side above your belly.
6. The seat belts are less effective if they are not properly fitted. Bulky winter clothing or large body types can pose a particular risk. Always try to place the lap belt below the bottom edge or fold of a winter jacket or below the lowest part of your belly so that it sits closer to the lap than to the belly button.
7. The shoulder belt found in the front seat can be adjusted in height to improve the fit.