Severe abdominal injuries sustained in an adult wearing a pelvic seatbelt: a case report and review of the literature

  • F. O’Kelly
  • G. C. O’Brien
  • P. J. BroeEmail author
Case Report


In automobile accidents, the “seatbelt syndrome” (SBS) consists of a constellation of injuries, predominantly involving thoraco-lumbar vertebral fractures and intraabdominal organ injury. A recent amendment to Irish legislation has made the wearing of seatbelts mandatory for all rear seated passengers in an effort to protect children. Whilst rear seatbelts result in a significant reduction in morbidity and mortality following road traffic accidents (RTA), we present a case in which the rear lap seatbelt caused severe abdominal injuries. It is evident that the current rear seat lapbelt system is an inferior design associated with a significant morbidity and mortality when compared to three-point harness system and consideration should be given to replacing them in all motor vehicles.


Seatbelt syndrome Seromuscular tear National Roads Authority Lapbelt Deceleration 


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Academic SurgeryRoyal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Beaumont HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of General and Academic SurgeryBeaumont HospitalDublin 9Ireland

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