Medicine: Auto Crashes and the Heart

When the victim of a head-on crash is trundled into the emergency room, the first place that the doctors look for serious injury is the head. Then they examine the chest for a broken rib that may have pierced a lung, and finally they look at the limbs. The heart and the "great vessels" adjoining it are usually not examined until much later—if at all. Yet in many cases there is a potentially fatal injury to the aorta, which, if promptly detected, can be corrected by today's advanced surgery.

Occupants of autos involved in...

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