Factors Influencing Injury Tolerance
A number of factors influence the extent and severity of injuries experienced by victims of motor vehicle accidents.
The following list contains many of the most important factors influencing injury severity and prognosis:
• how long after the accident treatment was initiated
• the type of treatment received
• patient compliance to the treatment plan
• the nature of the accident (frontal, rear, side impact collision or a combination)
• severity of accident (i.e. automobile speeds)
• the size and speed of your vehicle and other vehicles involved
• whether or not seat belts were worn
• whether you were aware of the impending accident
• the height of the head rest
• the age of the individual (elderly and children more susceptible to the forces involved in MVA’s)
• the size and strength of the individual – more specifically, their spinal musculature
• the presence of preexisting spinal conditions
Findings from a recent Canadian study, published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, indicate that the following patient and crash characteristics lead to a poorer prognosis…
The prognosis for recovery was poor if:
• there were additional injuries besides whiplash,
• the patient was female, elderly or had dependents,
• the crash was severe, involved a truck or bus,
• the injured party was not wearing a seat belt.
Patients who lacked full-time employment, collided with a moving vehicle, or were hit head-on or perpendicularly were also at greater risk of a poor prognosis compared with other patients.