Analysis of the incidence of pelvic trauma in fatal automobile accidents

Academic Article


  • Pelvic fractures are frequent complications of motor vehicle accidents, and motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of pelvic fracture. Although pelvic fractures are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, there has traditionally been no attempt to grade or classify pelvic fractures during postmortem examination. The authors performed a retrospective study of cases examined at the Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner Office from 1994 to 1996, reviewing investigative reports and autopsy findings. Radiographs were examined for the presence and Tile type of pelvic fracture. Pelvic fractures were identified in 88 of 392 cases (23%). In most (89%), the pelvic fracture was readily classified according to Tile type on the basis of radiographs and the inferred mechanism of injury. This study indicates that current estimates of the mortality of pelvic fractures are low because of the exclusion of individuals who do not survive to hospitalization. Furthermore, pelvic fractures in rapidly fatal motor vehicle accidents tend to be more severe than fractures in individuals who have a significant interval of survival. The presence and classification of pelvic fractures may be readily determined by radiographs in most cases. The Tile classification scheme is easy to apply and has important implications in the comparison of study groups.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Adams JE; Davis GG; Heidepriem RW; Alonso JE; Bruce Alexander C
  • Start Page

  • 132
  • End Page

  • 136
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 2