A new study has found Friday, May 16 that airbags and seat belts significantly protect kidneys from injury in car accidents. Dr. Jack McAninch, a professor of urology at the University of California, confirmed the research, stating in a news release from the American urological Association, “motor vehicle accidents can cause a variety of serious personal injuries, including high-grade renal [kidney] trauma.”
The study was performed by researchers from Advocate Illinois Medical Center, Baylor College and New York University, who derived their conclusions from analyzing car accident statistics in the United States between 2010 and 2011.
According to the researchers, nearly 300,000 car accidents occurred, and of those accidents almost 2,600 kidney injuries occurred. It was discovered that people who used air bags and seat belts were 23 percent less likely to suffer severe kidney damage. What’s more, their rates of nephrectomy (surgical removal of the kidney) decreased by more than half. It was also found that those who did not use both an air bag and seat belt together, but one or the other, were not that much less likely to suffer severe kidney damage. People who did not have air bags or seat belts at all were 44 percent more likely to suffer serious kidney injury.
The study’s findings will be presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American Urology Association in Orlando. “These data clearly demonstrate occupants who wear seat belts and whose air bags deploy during an accident have less of a chance of suffering high-grade renal injury or the need for a nephrectomy as compared to those who do not wear a seat belt or have an air bag,” added McAninch. “This knowledge can support the many public awareness campaigns regarding the pros and cons to wearing seat belts.”
More information about motor vehicle safety can be found at the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine.