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Widespread airbag use could result in dramatic cost savings for US trauma centers
Date:5/19/2008

tal stay and fewer hospital-acquired infections, he added.

The study evaluated 14,390 MVC victims admitted to a Level 1 trauma center. Patients were identified as unrestrained (n=7,881); airbag only (n=692); seatbelt only (n=4,909); or airbag and seatbelt (n=908).

In comparison with unrestrained MVC victims, victims who used both seatbelts and airbags were less likely to sustain severe injuries to the brain, face, spine, and chest. Patients with only airbag deployment were less likely to have abdominal injuries, although airbag-only patients were more likely to sustain injuries to the extremities, an association that was also seen when airbags were used in conjunction with seatbelts.

Airbag-only patients had a decreased prevalence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (5.2 percent, p = 0.0023) and bacteremia (5.8 percent, p=0.0045) compared to unrestrained patients (8.3 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, p = 0.001). The largest reductions in these infections were seen when airbags were used in conjunction with seatbelts (2.9 percent for ventilator-associated pneumonia and 2.3 for bacteremia, p < 0.0001).

Most importantly, in-hospital mortality was considerably higher in unrestrained patients (6.8 percent), compared with 4.6 percent in the airbag-only population, 3.4 percent in the seatbelt-alone category and 3.8 percent in the airbag and seatbelt population. Airbags were also associated with fewer days in the intensive care unit (2.8 days vs. 3.7 days for unrestrained patients, p < 0.05) and fewer total hospital days (7.1 days vs. 8.6 days for unrestrained patients, p<0.05). The largest reduction in days was seen in patients using both airbags and seatbelts (2.0 days in the intensive care unit and 6.4 total hospital days, p<0.0001).


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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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