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Centre for Automotive Safety Research
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
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Publication Details

TitleHead impacts and brain injury in fatally injured pedestrians
AuthorsRyan GA, McLean AJ, Vilenius ATS, Kloeden CN, Simpson DA, Blumbergs PC
Year1989
TypeConference Paper
AbstractAt-the-scene studies of road traffic accidents have been conducted by the Road Accident Research Unit and its predecessor, at the University of Adelaide since 1963. These studies confirmed the importance of impacts to the head, even in an environment of compulsory helmet wearing by motorcyclists and belt use by vehicle occupants. Since 1981 the National Health and Medical Research Council has provided relatively long-term support for the work of the Road Accident Research Unit. This has made it feasible for us to conduct a major study of the mechanisms of injury to the brain in actual road crashes. The study which is described in greater detail later in this paper involves an attempt to relate the nature and severity of the impact to the head to the nature and severity of the resulting injury to the brain in fatal cases. As such, it complements other approaches to the study of brain injury mechanisms. Experimental studies have provided the basis of our understanding of the mechanism of injury to the brain due to blunt impact. They have the great advantage which comes from being able to specify the nature and severity of the impact to the head, or at least measure the resulting acceleration. However they also have the limitations inherent in the need to extrapolate from the cadaver, or the animal surrogate, to the living human. Experimental studies using human volunteers, including professional boxers have no bio-fidelity limitations but they are unlikely to provide information on impacts which cause injury. Observational studies, of the type reported here, are well-suited to the description of the nature and severity of the injuries to the brain but reconstruction of the nature and severity of the impact is difficult and often of doubtful validity. We now proceed to describe how we have attempted to deal with these difficulties.
PublisherInternational Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury
Publisher CityZurich
Conference Name1989 International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impacts
Conference AbbreviationIRCOBI
Conference LocationStockholm, Sweden
Conference Date13-15 September 1989
Page Range27-37
Page Count11
Notesavailable from CASR library on request

Reference
Ryan GA, McLean AJ, Vilenius ATS, Kloeden CN, Simpson DA, Blumbergs PC (1989) 'Head impacts and brain injury in fatally injured pedestrians', Proceedings of 1989 International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impacts, pp 27-37.