For EMS crew and ED staff…here is why it’s important to know how the car crashed

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Frontal impact protection reduces head and cervical injury but significant thoracic, lumbar, pelvis and lower extremity injury can still persist. Side impact or lateral collisions offer very little space to displace or absorb the energy of the collision.

Chest wall, lung, and pelvis injuries can easily occur along with the head impacting the B post if there’s no side curtain airbag. In side impact crashes, despite modern vehicle design, a 30-cm (11.8-inch) intrusion is associated with a 20-fold increase risk of pelvic fractures, and in the elderly there’s a 70% increase risk of pelvic fracture.

In rollover crashes, ejection of occupants continues to be a major risk. But belted, non-ejected occupants in rollover crashes account for 1/3 of serious spinal cord injuries and 42% of spine injuries occurred with roof intrusion of less than 5.8 cm.

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