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Seat Belts And Air Bags Also Protect Kidneys

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Kidney damage is a common injury of occupants in car crashes, according to Dr. Marc Bjurlin, a clinical instructor of urologic oncology at New York University, where he conducted a study using the National Trauma Data Bank Report from 2010-2012. 

Bjurlin: We searched about 2.4 million patient records. 

Ditmire: Then he looked at numbers to see how many were wearing a seat belt and had an air bag deployed during the crash. 

Bjurlin: There were about 3,846 occupants who sustained a kidney injury. Specifically we found that occupants wearing seat belts had a statistically lower rate of kidney injury. And those occupants who had both a seat belt and an air bag had the greatest decrease in high-grade kidney injury.

Ditmire: In fact, those who wearing a seat belt were 24 percent less likely to injure a kidney. Add the airbag, and those positive percentages doubled.  

Bjurlin: This is a study that no one’s done before, but it’s probably very predictable. If you remain restrained, you’re not bouncing within the cab of the car or ejected from the car, and you’ll definitely have a decreased rate of injury.

Ditmire: Bjurlin says the new study confirms an established safety message.

Bjurlin: If you have an air bag or if you can purchase a car with an air bag, it’ll provide additional protection.