Evaluation of Aortic Injury in Driver Fatalities Occurring in Motor Vehicle Accidents in the State of Maryland for 2003 and 2004

A retrospective aortic injury and driving fatality analysis was conducted which incorporated epidemiological and pathologic factors. With emphasis on directional impact, accident circumstances, autopsy and toxicology findings, and decedent demographic data were compiled for better injury mechanism understanding. One hundred fifty aortic injury cases were identified in 537 autopsied drivers after autopsy files of the State of Maryland's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for 2003 and 2004 were reviewed. In 96% of the aortic injury cases, aortic lacerations occurred, with two thirds being complete or near complete transections. A side impact collision was involved in a large percentage of cases. The majority of aortic injuries, consistent with extant frontal and lateral impact research, occurred at the ligmentum arteriosum. The aortic injury mechanism for side and frontal impact collisions also seems to be similar, involving a rapid deceleration force combination along with chest and/or upper abdominal compression. The importance of side impact collisions as an aortic injury cause is emphasized in this study. Aortic lacerations may be prevented by better motor vehicle design, since the injuries have a high mortality rate.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Ripple, Mary G
    • Grant, Jami R
    • Mealey, Joan
    • Fowler, David R
  • Publication Date: 2008-6


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01105150
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2008 7:47AM