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Forensic Sci Int. 2005 May 10;149(2-3):121-8.

Chest deflection tolerance to blunt anterior loading is sensitive to age but not load distribution.

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Center for Applied Biomechanics, University of Virginia, 1011 Linden Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA.


Ninety-three human cadaver tests are used in the development of thoracic injury risk functions with consideration of age and restraint condition. Linear logistic regression models are developed with the set of potential predictors including the maximum chest deflection, the age of the cadaver at death, gender, and the loading condition on the anterior thorax: blunt hub (41 tests), seat belt (26 tests), air bag (12 tests), and combined belt-and-bag (14 tests). Predicted outcomes were the probability of any rib fractures (onset of injury) and the probability of greater than six rib fractures (severe injury). The analysis shows that the injury risk function was not dependent on the loading condition, but was strongly dependent on age. A significant injury risk model with good ability to discriminate injury from non-injury tests (P < 0.0001, chi-square = 21.49, area under receiver operator characteristic curve (ROC) = 0.867, Kruskal's Gamma = 0.732) is presented using only maximum chest deflection and cadaver age as predictors of injury risk. The 50% risk of any rib fractures is found to occur at 35% chest deflection for a 30-year-old, but at 13% deflection for a 70-year-old. The 50% risk of severe injury is shown to occur at 33% chest deflection for a 70-year-old, but at 43% for a 30-year-old.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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