Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the devil & the deep blue sea

the road transport dept knows it, we know it, & studies have shown it - putting on seat-belts save lives.

however, seat-belts also cause injuries of their own when the vehicle is involved in a collision. the rapid deceleration from say, 100kmph to zero, results in the human body moving forward but restrained by the seat belt, can cause severe internal injuries. i blogged about this some time back but i think this important message warrants a repeat.

mdm S was a back seat passenger in a car that hit a tree. the driver & all passengers are alive but only mdm S sustained potentially life-threatening injuries as a result of the seat belt,eg .
...fractured breastbone

....fractured right ribs

......fractured left ribs

......lacerated left kidney....

and a cracked spine

she is recuperating in ICU & currently does not need surgery. if i had to choose between the devil & the deep blue sea, i'd still settle for the lesser of the two evils, aka seat-belt.

PS. the advances in medical imaging produced the crystal clear CT scan pictures that allow accurate diagnosis.


JoMel said...

and what about airbag doc?

doc said...


of course air-bags help as well, provided the seat-belts are also used at the same time, but few cars on our road have them. most european cars have at least SIX!!(2 front & 2 side airbags plus 2 side-curtains)

so, for most of us, watch out for the TREES!!

stay-at-home mum said...

Yeah, must wear seat belts always, if not will get fined!!

reanaclaire said...

oh..meaning sitting at the back also has its risks, well i think, if accidents were to happen, anywhere in the car also will not be safe..we can be entrapped and the seat belts can be jammed up.. oh thinking of that is scary... ok, must remember to drive slower on highways.. thanks for the info, doc..

Superman said...

doc, the technology for the new medical equipment is really advance now as see from your pictures posted.

doc said...


use seat-belt for safety concerns; the fine is just an expensive reminder!

doc said...


although, statistically, the safest seat is the back passenger(behind the front passenger), actually nowhere in the car is safe in an accident.

careful driving within speed limits & observing all traffic rules is good practice. but our best hope is still divine protection.

doc said...


the images of the ribs are from a 64-slice spiral CT scan, while the images of the kidneys & spine are from a normal CT.

ilene said...

Thanks DOC for the reminder.

doc said...


all in a day's work!

iml said...

Strapping up, ensure that the passenger would not propel forward thus be in a worser condition?

doc said...


what i meant by the lesser of 2 evils, is that if you strap up, you may injure yourself, but if you don't, you could succumb during the collision.

so, sustaining injuries is probably better than dying.

stay-at-home mum said...

The question may be do you want to be alive, but in a vegetative state? Not me!

But I always wear my seatbealt.

doc said...


there's no way to predict what sort of damage could occur in a collision, although i agree that, with the ruling on crash helmets & seat belts, people will survive but with severe injuries.

this lady was fortunate, in that, while the injuries were severe, she remains stable &, in all likelihood, will make a complete recovery.

you still use the seatbelt because you wouldn't take chances. neither would i.

happy driving!

zewt said...

since seat belt is still preferred, then... status quo lor...

doc said...


i posted this to illustrate that the seat-belt is not a 100% fail-safe device.