Impact of Airbags on a Level I Trauma Center

Injury Patterns, Infectious Morbidity, and Hospital Costs

Regan Williams, Timothy C. Fabian, Peter Fischer, Ben L. Zarzaur, Louis J. Magnotti, Martin Croce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: To date, no study has evaluated the potential impact of supplemental restraint use on resource use at a Level I trauma center. We hypothesized that airbag use would be related to decreased injury severity of motor vehicle collision survivors admitted to a Level I trauma center, leading to a decrease in infectious morbidity and hospital resource use. Study Design: Using the trauma registry, motor vehicle collision victims admitted during an 11-year period were identified. Restraint groups were defined as unrestrained (reference group), seatbelt only, airbag only, or airbag and seatbelt. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between restraint type and injury patterns. Other outcomes measured included prevalence of ventilator-associated pneumonia and bacteremia, hospital length of stay, days in the ICU, and hospital mortality. Results: A total of 14,390 patients (unrestrained, n = 7,881; airbag only, n = 692; seatbelt only, n = 4,909; airbag and seatbelt, n = 908) had restraint data available. Both airbag and seatbelt use were associated with a substantial reduction in injury to the brain, face, cervical spine, thorax, and abdomen. The largest reduction occurred when these restraints were used in combination. The only injury associated with airbag deployment was extremity fractures. Compared with unrestrained persons, any restraint use was associated with substantially reduced injury severity, significant infectious morbidity, and resource use. Conclusions: Airbags are associated with reduced in-hospital mortality. Airbags are also associated with decreased injury severity, substantial infectious morbidity, and resource use. Cost savings from reduced resource use associated with supplemental restraints could be tremendous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-968
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume206
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

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Air Bags
Hospital Costs
Trauma Centers
Morbidity
Wounds and Injuries
Motor Vehicles
Hospital Mortality
Length of Stay
Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
Cost Savings
Bacteremia
Abdomen
Brain Injuries
Survivors
Registries
Spine
Thorax
Extremities
Logistic Models

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

Cite this

Impact of Airbags on a Level I Trauma Center : Injury Patterns, Infectious Morbidity, and Hospital Costs. / Williams, Regan; Fabian, Timothy C.; Fischer, Peter; Zarzaur, Ben L.; Magnotti, Louis J.; Croce, Martin.

In: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 206, No. 5, 01.05.2008, p. 962-968.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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