To protect fetus, Miami women should buckle-up

Despite the widespread message that “seat belts save lives,” mothers-to-be may be concerned that the way that the seat belt is positioned could harm the fetus should a crash occur. Some have similar concerns regarding the use of airbags in motor vehicles. Those women would likely be interested in the results of a recent study that was conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The study determined the odds of a fetus surviving a motor vehicle accident were much higher when the mother involved in the crash was restrained with a seat belt when it occurred. In short, the best way to keep a fetus from harm is for the mother to take precautions to protect herself.

The study focused specifically on women who were treated at Duke University Medical Center between the years of 1994 and 2010, after being involved in car accidents. The files studied involved women who were in either their second or third trimesters when the incident occurred. While only three fetuses were lost to the 86 women who were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, that same number was lost to the 12 women who did not buckle-up.

Car accidents occur on a regular basis throughout the state of Florida. While in some cases there is nothing that can be done to prevent them from happening, this is yet another example of how certain actions may impact the outcome. While serious injuries can still occur when a seat belt is being worn, there is a greater chance of survival for all-including fetuses-when occupants of a car are properly restrained.

Source: Reuters, “Buckle up during pregnancy: study,” Kerry Grens, March 8, 2013

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