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Asthma and Airbags: A Complicated Relationship


Asthma and Airbags: A Complicated Relationship

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Asthma is one of the most common health conditions in both kids and adults in the modern era. This is a chronic condition that ranges widely in severity from those who only need medication intermittently to those who require it on a daily basis. There are many different causes of asthma and this could include the substances that are released with airbags. A recent research study took a look at the complicated relationship between airbag deployment and chronic asthma.

How do Airbags Impact Asthma?

Most people are aware that airbags deploy in an auto accident or a truck accident in response to some impact. When an accident occurs, the impact strikes sensors on the vehicle which triggers the airbags to deploy. This can prevent traumatic injuries from occurring, such as femur fractures and chest trauma. Impacts to the chest are important because they can potentially worsen many chronic medical conditions that people live with on a daily basis, such as asthma. For those who are unaware, asthma is a chronic lung condition that impacts countless people across the country. Asthma is an inappropriate inflammation of the airways in response to some stimulus. These stimuli include cold temperatures, grass, exercise, and countless other antigens that people come into contact with on a daily basis. People with asthma sometimes take medications on a regular basis to keep this inflammation in check. When the airways become inflamed, it can make it hard for these people to breathe. Some people with asthma can die if their airways become inflamed to the point of completely obstructing air flow. Because there are many unknown triggers for asthma, it is possible that the substances that coat airbags could irritate people with asthma when these airbags deploy. If the substances in the airbags trigger an asthma attack in individuals with this condition, this could make it challenging for these individuals to breathe. A recent research publication sought to explore this issue in depth.

An Overview of the Study

Researchers have published a case report describing a middle-aged gentleman who had symptoms of asthma for over two years, including a tightness in his chest, a decreased ability to exercise, and a cough that plagued him at night. He says that all of this started after a motor vehicle accident in which his airbags deployed. When the airbags deployed, they broke open and released what appeared to be particulate matter into the air. During this time, the driver was in his vehicle for over three minutes and stated that he had trouble breathing. He also stated that he had never had anything like this before. Prior to this accident, he could complete rigorous cardiac exercise for over 30 minutes per day without having issues. After this, he had chronic respiratory symptoms that made it almost impossible for him to exercise. He visited the doctor’s office, who performed a methacholine challenge test, a standard test used in asthma diagnosis. This test was markedly positive. This case report demonstrates that it might be possible for someone to develop asthma after exposure to particulate matter in airbags. Patients and physicians should be aware of this possibility after someone is involved in a car accident where the airbags have deployed. For more information, contact an experienced Sacramento car accident lawyer.

The Significance of the Research

The information contained in this study is important because it highlights a valuable point that airbags aren’t always a beneficial part of a motor vehicle. While it is true that airbags have prevented countless deaths over the years with their ability to deploy and prevent potentially catastrophic head and brain injuries from occurring, it is vital to ensure that they are used properly. For example, children should always sit in the back seat until fully grown because the angle of impact between a child and an airbag could create injuries. Airbags must also be made properly and improper manufacturing of airbags could create a product liability issue. Finally, it is important to ensure that whatever substances coat the airbags are appropriate for people to inhale. There are many chemicals that go into airbags that allow them to be stored for years without expiring in addition to allowing them to inflate quickly enough to save lives in auto accidents. While these substances are important for airbag function, it is important to remember that people who are involved in auto accidents will be exposed to these substances. When they inhale, it could trigger a potentially allergic reaction in people with asthma, cystic fibrosis, or other chronic lung conditions. If someone goes into anaphylactic shock as a result of exposure to these chemicals, it could be fatal. This is why anyone who has been exposed to airbags and has subsequently wound up in a hospital should consider contacting an experienced Sacramento car accident lawyer for some free, friendly advice. These are complex scenarios that nobody should have to navigate alone.

Contact an Experienced Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. If you or your loved one has suffered an injury due to a car accident, call me today for free, friendly advice. I can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

California’s local chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum has listed my name among its membership rolls. Our forum’s members have been included in rankings of some of the top trial attorneys in the United States. Those who have been inducted into our chapter have worked persistently for verdicts and negotiated numerous settlement agreements valued at over $1 Million dollars.

Some of my verdicts and settlements are listed here.

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Picture Attribution: The image of the asthma inhaler above has been taken from Wikimedia Commons and used under the 3.0 version of the Creative Commons License, with permission.

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