Evaluation of Hearing After Exposure to Airbag Deployment 2005-01-2399
Driver and passenger airbags are a passive restraint system that has been effective in preventing deaths and reducing injuries in frontal crashes. Members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery submitted case reports on 71 patients with otologic symptoms after airbag deployment.
Recently a study to evaluate patients involved in motor vehicle accidents with airbag deployment, presented to the Emergency Departments of Henry Ford Hospital and Medical Centers, was undertaken to determine the incidence of temporary and permanent hearing threshold shifts. Audiograms, physical examinations and information regarding the make and model of vehicle were obtained within 24 hours of presentation to the Emergency Department. If temporary threshold shifts were identified, a follow up audiogram was performed at six or more weeks after the initial audiogram. Patients with significant physical injuries were excluded from the study. This paper describes reasons for performing this prospective study along with a review of current literature in an Appendix.