More and more people get hurt using their cell phone

De plus en plus de gens se blessent en utilisant leur téléphone cellulaire

December 5, 2019 14h09


More and more people get hurt using their cell phone

Jean-Benoit Legault

The canadian Press


MONTREAL – More than 76 000 patients went to an emergency of the united states between January 1998 and December 2017 after an injury to the head or neck using their cell phone, finds a new study published by the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

The incidence of this type of injury has been multiplied by ten during this period.

About 56 percent of the wounded were women and 39 percent of them were between the ages of 13 and 29 years old. The vast majority of the wounded, either 94,1 percent, were discharged without being hospitalized.

Forty-one percent of the accidents occurred at home. A third of the injuries were sustained to the head and another one-third of the face, including the region of the eye and the nose. A little less than 13 percent of the injuries were reported at the level of the neck.

The researchers distinguish the injury caused directly by the phone (such as the explosion of the battery or the phone that hits the face, or 47 percent of the total) injuries caused by the use of the telephone (and mainly due to a distraction).

Twenty-six percent of the injuries were lacerations and 25 percent of the bruises or scratches, but 18 percent involved injury to the internal organs.

“This diagnosis (injury to internal organs) referred most often to a traumatic brain injury, write the researchers from Rutgers University. Since the majority of the patients were not hospitalized, we assume that it was of minor traumas. Patients with traumatic brain injury light can be discharged without additional intervention, but they are still at risk of a syndrome postcommotionnel.”

The symptoms of a syndrome postcommotionnel will vary from mild (headache, nausea, fatigue) to severe (memory problems, emotional instability, depression). These patients will therefore need a medical follow-up after their discharge.

We also have state-of-concussions, fractures and “foreign”, to approximately 3 percent each.

More than 14 000 injuries have been attributed to distractions, which 7240 at the moment the victim was driving using his cell phone and about a thousand at the time it textait. Sixty percent of the injuries caused by a distraction occurred in the age group 13-29 years.

It also reports that more than 5,000 injuries occurred while the victim was walking by using his smart phone – including a hundred at the time it was playing on Pokémon Gb.

“Injuries to the head and neck associated with cell phone use have increased dramatically during a recent twenty-year period, summarize the authors of the study. Even if most of these injuries are not serious, some may cause complications in the long term. So there seems to be a need to educate patients regarding injury prevention and the dangers of practicing an activity in using these devices.”

It is estimated that approximately 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone.

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