In United States of America there are near three million people injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVA) and near forty two thousand fatalities on this type of accidents each year according to the data provided by the national highway traffic safety administration. Of these injured people near 75% of them were using a seat belt when the accident occur. [NOR03].
It is indisputable that seatbelts save lives and reduce the severity of the injuries in patients involved in MVA. But these devices could produce severe and even life-threatening injuries in a patient, especially if the seatbelt is worn improperly.
To appropriately detect and treat the injuries a seat belt can produce, we need to know the pattern of the injuries that these devices can generate, the organs that could be affected, and the signs and symptoms a patient could develop as a consequence of these injuries, in that way we can be alert and suspect them when we are assessing the patient.
Nowadays most of the new models of cars come with a three point seatbelt, that properly restraint the patient inside the car, and the injuries caused by these devices are less serious than the injuries caused by wearing only the lap part or the shoulder part of the seatbelt separately, but on the streets we still can find cars with this option of using only the shoulder or the lap part of the seatbelt, and either one cause different patrons of injuries that we are going to discuss later on this paper.
When we have our first contact with a patient involved in a MVA, and as part of the scene size-up we need to look and asses whether the patient was using a seatbelt or not, and if he or she was using it properly. It is...