• Seatbelt injury causing small bowel devascularisation: case series and review of the literature.

      O'Dowd, Vincent; Kiernan, Christine; Lowery, Aoife; Khan, Waqar; Barry, Kevin; Department of Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      The use of seatbelts has increased significantly in the last twenty years, leading to a decrease in mortality from road traffic accidents (RTA). However, this increase in seatbelt use has also led to a change in the spectrum of injuries from RTA; abdominal injuries, particularly intestinal injuries have dramatically increased with the routine use of seatbelts. Such intestinal injuries frequently result from improper placement of the "lap belt". We present 3 cases in which passengers wearing a seatbelt sustained significant devascularisation injuries to the small bowel requiring emergency surgical intervention. A high index of suspicion is crucial in such cases to prevent delays in diagnosis that can lead to severe complications and adverse outcomes. It is evident that while advocating seatbelt use, the importance of education in correct seatbelt placement should also be a focus of public health strategies to reduce RTA morbidity and mortality.