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Effect of Restraining Devices on Facial Fractures in Motor Vehicle Collisions

Hwang, Kun MD, PhD; Kim, Joo Ho MD

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002030
Brief Clinical Studies
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The aim of this systematic review is to summarize and critically evaluate the evidence for or against the effectiveness of restraining devices on facial fractures in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).

In a PubMed search, the search terms “facial bone fracture and seat belt,” “facial bone fracture and air bag,” and “facial bone fracture and restraining” were used. The authors abstracted the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from each study. Weighted mean differences and 95% CIs were also calculated. The statistical analysis was performed with Review Manager (The Nordic Cochrane Centre).

The authors found 30 potentially relevant articles, of which 6 articles met our inclusion criteria. Five studies were subgrouped, and a meta-analysis of these data suggested beneficial effects of seat belts on decreasing facial fractures in MVCs (n = 15,768,960, OR, 0.46, 95% CI = 0.35–0.60). Three studies were subgrouped, and a meta-analysis of these data suggested that there were beneficial effects of seat belts and air bags on decreasing facial fractures in MVCs (n = 15,768,021, OR, 0.59, 95% CI = 0.47–0.74). Four studies were subgrouped, and a meta-analysis of these data suggested there were no significant effects of an air bag on decreasing facial fracture in MVCs (n = 15,932,259, OR, 1.00, 95% CI = 0.72–1.39).

A seat belt alone (OR, 0.46) or a seat belt and an air bag (OR, 0.59) were effective to decrease facial fractures in MVCs. However, air bags alone had no significant effect (OR, 1.00). In using air bags, seat belt should be applied together to prevent facial fractures in motor vehicle injuries.

Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kun Hwang, MD, PhD, Department of Plastic Surgery, Inha University School of Medicine, 27 Inhang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 400-711, Korea; E-mail: jokerhg@inha.ac.kr

Received 16 May, 2014

Accepted 28 June, 2015

This work was supported by the grant from INHA University (INHA-Research Grant).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.