Seat belts lower risk of severe liver trauma in crashes

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Texas readers know that seat belts save lives, but they might not be aware that they can also save livers. According to a recent study, seat belts can lessen the severity of liver injuries in car crashes, which helps lower medical expenses and reduce the chances of complications.

Blunt trauma injuries to the liver commonly occur during car accidents. In order to see how effective seat belts are at preventing such injuries, researchers from NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn in New York City analyzed 51,202 liver injury cases from the National Trauma Data Bank from 2010 until 2015. All the cases involved adult patients who were either admitted to a hospital or died at or on the way to a hospital. They found that 15 percent of the patients suffered severe liver injuries. Of those, 15 percent died. The other 85 percent of patients suffered mild or moderate liver injuries. Of those, only 8 percent died. In addition, patients with severe liver injuries were almost three times more likely to require surgery and significantly more likely to suffer medical complications than those with mild or moderate liver injuries.

The study found that seat belt use does not prevent liver injuries but can help reduce their severity. For instance, patients wearing seat belts were 21 percent less likely to suffer a severe liver injury than those who were not wearing seat belts while those who used both seat belts and air bags were 26 percent less likely for their liver to be seriously injured. According to medical experts, the more severe a liver injury is, the more likely that a patient will require surgery or experience serious complications, including bile leakage, obstruction, uncontrollable bleeding and infections.

Individuals injured in car accidents caused by other drivers may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. An attorney might be able to assess a victim's case and recommend the best legal remedy available.

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