Impact Injury to the Pregnant Female and Fetus in Lap Belt Restraint 660801

Although it has been well established that the lap (seat) belt offers considerable protection against injury or death in crash environments, there has long been controversy over the injury potential to the pregnant female. This question is of importance in consideration of restraint and seat protective environments for both aircraft and automotive vehicles. Most of the 4 million pregnant women per year in the United States travel by automobile, with a large number traveling by Commercial Civil Aircraft or the Military Air Transport Service. Thus a sizeable population is involved.
This combined study by the Civil Aeromedical Institute, F. A. A., 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Holloman AFB, and the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, has been concerned with the clinical, experimental, and applied aspects. Tests utilizing pregnant baboons (Papio doguera) have been run on the Holloman AFB Daisy Decelerator, and clinical case histories have been obtained in automotive accidents involving late term pregnant women through cooperation of the California and Oklahoma Highway Patrol and individual obstetricians. This paper will outline the medical evidence for concern and note the experimental findings to date.


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