A pregnant woman may suffer a number of injuries in a car accident, especially if a seat belt is used incorrectly.


Injuries that can occur:

(1) uterine rupture

(2) abruptio placentae

(3) abdominal bruising in the distribution of the seat belt

(4) premature rupture of the membranes

(5) preterm labor

(6) fetal demise


Abruption and fetal demise can occur even when there is little or no apparent maternal injury.


Some injuries are associated with incorrect placement of the belt, with many women never properly instructed in how to wear restraints during pregnancy.


Wearing a seat belt during pregnancy:

(1) A seat belt should be used by a pregnant woman.

(2) The lap belt should not be placed above or over the bulge.

(3) The lap belt should be placed as low as possible below the bulge.

(4) A shoulder strap should be used if available.


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