Injuries in which the unfixed head and neck are suddenly jerked by abrupt arrest of the body in motion, or sudden propulsion of the body from rest, have come to be designated as "whiplash injuries." Such injuries were perhaps first recognized when in World War I the Navy began to launch planes from the decks of battleships and cruisers by catapult. The problem was quickly met by the provision of a protective headrest for the pilot plus an adequate shoulder harness. In the present era, however, the bulk of whipping injuries to the head and neck are the result of motor vehicle accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, which constitute about 15% of such accidents. Unfortunately, this serious problem has not had the same prompt solution through preventive
HAWKES CD. Whiplash Injuries of the Head and Neck: Clinical and Medicolegal Considerations in Management. AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(5):828–833. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280170138048
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