Published: Mon, December 09, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Head Injuries Have Spiked After Apple Launched Its iPhone

Head Injuries Have Spiked After Apple Launched Its iPhone

Authors of a recently published study in the journal JAMA have noted an increase in cell phone-related injuries over the last 20 years.

This observational study analyzed 20 years of data on people who went to emergency departments with head and neck injuries from cell phone use to estimate the number of injuries, learn what types of injuries there were, and understand how the injuries occurred, such as from distracted driving or walking.

As the study's author, head and neck surgeon Boris Paskhover, points out, the increasing danger of smartphones is likely because of just how many features are packed into them.

Interestingly, the study found spikes in these sorts of injuries in 2007 and 2016.

The most common injuries were lacerations (26%), followed by bruises and abrasions (25%). "For example, although concussion is a separate diagnosis, any diagnosis deemed more severe (e.g., subdural hematoma or cerebral contusion) is coded as an 'internal organ injury, '" according to Paskhover and colleagues. Most people were treated and released instead of hospitalized.

Cellphone users aged 13 to 29 made up nearly 40 percent of the patients, and most of the injuries caused by distraction happened in this age group.

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Cell phones are a literal pain in the neck - and face, eyes, nose, ears and head. "Although the disposition of most cases is simple, some injuries bear a risk of long-term complications".

Children under 13 years of age were much more likely to suffer mechanical injuries, such as a cellphone battery explosion.

A study by experts in the USA has found that since the advent of smartphones, injuries linked to mobile phones have shot up, both indirect injuries - such as those sustained texting while walking - and those caused by the devices themselves, such as the phone hitting someone in the face or the battery exploding. "A fall from upright - you fall, you hit your head the wrong way, you get a traumatic brain injury".

"The findings suggest a need for education about the risks of cell phone use and distracted behaviour during other activities as well as driving and walking", Paskhover said.

In these latter cases, Paskhover said, children may be "playing with their parents' phone and someone gets hit in the face". "Be self-aware. Answer a text message, fine, but you shouldn't be walking around reading articles on your phone".

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