Case report: sternal fracture from a seatbelt

Karen Mulloy Restifo, Gabor D. Kelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report a case of a sternal fracture in a patient restrained by a seatbelt on the passenger side of a car in a moderate-speed motor vehicle accident. This patient apparently did not have contact with any fixed part of the car. In reporting this case it is our intention to demonstrate that the increased use of seatbelts, although life-saving in many ways, may be associated with emergence of a new spectrum of less "life-threatening" injuries associated with their use. We, therefore, make a case for increased search for sternal injuries and potential complications (including cardiac) for restrained passengers without evidence of other direct chest trauma. We believe that although seatbelts are an essential part of passenger car safety, their use should not deter extensive investigation when evaluating the emergency patient for injuries usually associated with the unrestrained passenger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-323
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • chest trauma
  • emergency
  • motor vehicle accident
  • seatbelt
  • sternal fracture
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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