Severe head injury caused by airbag deployment

J Trauma. 1996 Nov;41(5):920-2. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199611000-00033.


Passenger-side airbags are present in over 21 million automobiles and will be required on all passenger vehicles by the model year 1999. Although airbags are effective supplemental restraint systems and have saved over 1,500 lives, airbag-related injuries have been reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported 15 child deaths caused by airbag deployment. All of these children were believed to be improperly restrained in the front passenger position of a car equipped with a passenger-side airbag. This case represents the first serious injury caused by airbag deployment in a child that was properly positioned in an approved child restraint.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Air Bags / adverse effects*
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging