Airbags and Heart Valve
Over the past few decades, the safety advancements in motor vehicles have come a long way. Now, almost every car has multiple airbags around to protect the driver and the passengers in the event of a car accident. Sometimes, these airbags can harm people instead of protecting them. A recent case report demonstrated exactly this.The Role of the Airbag: Safety in Cars
Since the invention of the car, safety advances have come a long way. Cars now have seatbelts to restrain drivers and passengers in an auto accident, airbags that deploy to prevent people from colliding with the dashboard on impact, and numerous other advanced technological features.
Newer vehicles often have backup cameras, parking assist devices, and blind-spot monitoring cameras to keep everyone safe. When it comes to airbags, they can provide valuable protection against traumatic injuries. When someone impacts another vehicle or object, the airbag is supposed to inflate and deploy quickly. It is coated with numerous advanced chemicals and solutions that allow it to inflate before someone can strike the dashboard or steering wheel.
These are valuable safety devices for not only the driver but also everyone else in the car as well. Almost every car also has airbags to protect the front passenger, and some cars and trucks even have airbags that will protect someone from injuring their knees. Many cars also have side curtain airbags that will protect people from the glass of a shattered window. Unfortunately, sometimes, these devices can backfire. If this happens, people can wind up with unnecessary injuries that might land them in the hospital.Unexpected Injuries Can Result
While airbags operate most of the time properly and have saved numerous lives, they do have the potential to misfire. Recently, a case report was published that details a child sitting in the front seat of the car. The car impacted a guardrail on the right side of the vehicle. This impact caused the airbag on the boy's side of the car to deploy and struck him in the chest with incredible force. The child stated that he "felt funny" and passed out shortly before the paramedics arrived. They realized that his heart was suffering a serious arrhythmia and had to shock him back into proper rhythm. He was transported to a local hospital, where it was discovered that one of his heart valves had ruptured.
This constitutes a significant injury to the heart that could be life-threatening. The heart valves are responsible for making sure that the heart fills and pumps properly. The boy underwent emergent surgery to replace his damaged heart valve.Proper Testing is Vital
This case report serves to highlight an example of a safety device going horribly wrong. While the child probably should not have been seated in the front seat of the car, the airbag company should have warned people of the dangers of these devices. If airbags aren't tested properly, this can result in catastrophic personal injuries, leaving families with chronic medical problems to deal with.
This case report is only one example, and there have been numerous recalls over the years due to safety issues related to motor vehicles. Some of these have even involved airbags, the very devices designed to keep people safe from harm in the event of an accident.Legal Help for Unusual Events and Accidents
Airbags are meant to protect people. When they go wrong, major class-action lawsuits can result, including the Takata recall events; however, this is little solace for the individual who has landed in the hospital because of an airbag misfire. When someone has their heart valve damaged by an airbag that goes off inappropriately, they can be impacted for the rest of their life. This can lead to costly bills that families may have trouble paying.Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. When a safety device intended to protect people from harm misfires and leads to significant injuries, it is important to investigate the circumstances with the guidance of a legal advocate. We serve this purpose for our clients. We can be reached at 916.921.6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. Our firm provides free, friendly, and no-obligation advice.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.24.21]
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