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AAAM’s 53rd Annual Conference: First Day Highlights

October 6, 2009 by markarndt

The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine(AAAM) is holding its 53rd Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland from October 4th through October 7th, 2009. The conference is well attended by over 130 participants.

Highlights of Monday’s morning sessions included: a presentation by Jason Hallman from the Medical College of Wisconsin titled Splenic Trauma as an Adverse Effect of Torso-Protecting Side Airbags: Biomedical and Case Evidence and a presentation by Dr. Jo Barnes of the Vehicle Safety Research Centre, Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute, Loughborough University, titled Comparison of Injury Severity Between AIS 2005 and AIS 90 in Large Injury Database.

The paper on splenic trauma described cases involving zero interior intrusion in near side impacts (one case had minimal interior intrusion) in which a seat mounted side airbag deployed and significant splenic injury occurred. Follow-up experiments using a test fixture, deploying seat based side airbag and out of position cadaver illuminated possible injury mechanisms. Overall it appears that splenic injuries in minor side impact crashes may occur from seat mounted airbag deployment when injury would be unlikely to otherwise occur. One point made in the discussion was that the larger seat mounted side airbags, designed to cover both the torso and head, appear to have been involved in most of the cases presented and that the vehicle fleet’s use of seat mounted side impact airbags is tending toward a smaller torso only bag with head protection provided by side curtain.

The paper presented by Dr. Barnes showed detailed differences in severity grading between the AIS 90 and AIS 2005. In general AIS 2005 was shown to produce lower counts of AIS 3 and AIS 4 injuries using an identical data set. In other words, a distribution of injury severity when coded with AIS 2005 will be lower compared to an identical population coded with AIS 90. The implications of such a difference are significant – particularly since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently adopted the AIS 2005 and new NASS CDS coding will be using AIS 2005. Greatest differences were described for the thorax, head and extremities body regions. Anyone who is using AIS coding needs to be careful to check what version current injury coding is based upon and remember that the historical AIS coding is based upon AIS 90 and in some cases earlier versions.

According to the Chairman of the AAAM Scientific Program Committee, Clay Gabler of the Center for Injury Biomechanics, there are 23 papers being presented at the conference, including 6 student papers. One paper is made through an international scholar award and two student papers are funded with endowment grants. The conference includes 14 posters and two special sessions. Special session topics include: Technology and Treatment Addressing Medical Fitness to Drive and Pre-Crash Technologies.


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