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January 26, 1957


Author Affiliations

Montreal, Canada

From the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal General Hospital and the Queen Mary Veterans Hospital, McGill University.

JAMA. 1957;163(4):242-245. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970390018008

• The neurosurgeon is concerned with traffic accidents because from 30 to 70% of the fatalities are attributed to head injuries. Protection of the head and neck is therefore important in prevention of injuries, but promptness and care are also necessary 'n giving first aid and in transporting the injured. There is evidence that morphine has been misused at the scene of the accident and that subsequent diagnoses are too often mistaken. The epidemiology of accidents needs continued study so that death traps can be eliminated and environmental sources of confusion can be recognized. Some patients have been the victims not so much of accidents as of willful manslaughter. Psychiatric and neurological tests for drivers might be revealing. There must be enough genius in the medical, legal, and engineering professions to control this nationwide disease.