Vehicle Air Bags Protect Kidneys Too

HOUSTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — Drivers and passengers who crash in motor vehicles equipped with air bags are much less likely to suffer kidney or renal damage, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Thomas G. Smith III, an assistant professor of urology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, compared crash victims in vehicles with no air bag group to crash patients in vehicles with air bags.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, found front-impact air bags were associated with a 45.3 percent reduction in kidney injuries and side-impact air bags were associated with a 52.8 percent reduction in renal injuries.

The researchers analyzed 2,864 records in the Crash Injury Research and Engineering database from 1996 to September 2008. The researchers identified 139 kidney injuries involved in crashes in motor vehicles with and without air bags

“The sharp reduction in the rate of kidney injury was surprising because air bags are primarily designed to protect the head and spine” Smith says in a statement.

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