Cellphone distraction linked to increase in head injuries

Alonzo Simpson
December 7, 2019

40 percent of the injuries that were caused after getting hit by phones were reported by people who are 13 to 29 years old.

"You walk in the city and you see everyone just looking at their phones", he said.

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. The most common injury types included laceration (26.3 percent), contusion/abrasion (24.5 percent), and internal organ injury (18.4 percent).

While children under the age of 13 accounted for the vast majority of direct injuries, adults were at a much higher risk for injuries related to distraction by phones, with people over the age of 50 at highest risk.

The report said most of the injuries were the result of texting while walking, which led to tripping and accidents such as landing face-down on the sidewalk. Many of these injuries were caused by people using their phones while doing other activities, such as texting while walking or driving. But things are more complicated, with the study's authors looking at how people were injured.

Paskhover pulled information from somewhere in the range of 1998 and 2017 on cellphone-related wounds to the head and neck from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database, which holds data about wounds treated in crisis divisions at around 100 United States clinics.

The watch turn out to be printed in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology.

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Between 1998 and 2017, the database tracked 2,501 cellphone-related injuries (which the authors estimated translated to more than 76,000 injuries nationwide).

Another quarter of patients suffered bruises and abrasions.

"We have a skull that protects our brain, but it doesn't mean it's impervious".

"As an emergency physician, I have personally taken care of patients that have walked into traffic, fallen in holes and other risky situations while on a phone", said Dr. Teresa Murray Amato, chair of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish, in Forest Hills, New York.

"As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed", DiAngelis said. "Policy and behavioral interventions should continue to consider ways to prevent cell phone use in transportation settings", said Stavrinos. "Be self-aware. Answer a text message, fine, but you shouldn't be walking around reading articles on your phone".

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