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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 Sep 18

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.20.04986-3


language: English

Mobile phones and “inattention” injuries: the risk is real

Harsh DEORA 1 , Manjul TRIPATHI 2, Nishant YAGNICK 3, Sonali P. DEORA 4, Bipin CHAURASIA 5, Sandeep MOHINDRA 2

1 Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, India; 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India; 3 Department of Neurosurgery, Paras Hospitals Gurgaon, Haryana, India; 4 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Apollo Group of Hospitals, Bangalore, India; 5 Department of Neurosurgery, Bangladesh State Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh


OBJECTIVE: Mobile phones though indispensable have a flip side, in that they adversely affecting our ergonomics and mobility. They share an etiologic burden on the changed profile of inattention injuries and now have proven to be a necessary evil in the changing lifestyles. We aim to evaluate the role of mobile phones as a causative factor in these head and neck injuries.
METHODOLOGY: We evaluated various injury statistics published throughout the world that attributed the concurrence of neurological injuries to portable handheld communication devices. We evaluated the dangers posed by simultaneous engagement on phone and mobility and examined the impact on walking and field of view. We have also reviewed the current management strategies to combat this new mode of injury. The recent sensation Pokemon Go has been discussed as a case study of a spike in the incidence of injuries due to mobile phone use.
RESULTS: Age>35 yrs is a risk factor for mobile phone use and injuries as they have a higher chance of being distracted (81%) when compared to millennials (70% distracted). The highest incidence was that of head injuries being 33.1% of the estimated total followed by face, including eyelid, eye area, and nose (32.7%); and neck (12.5%). The most common injury diagnoses included laceration (26.3% of estimated total), contusion/abrasion (24.5%), and internal organ injury (18.4%). A heightened sense of self-protection and a multitasking attitude remains at the core of the trouble despite having knowledge of the required behavior.
CONCLUSIONS: The health hazard of mobile phone use driving or walking needs to be highlighted with special emphasis on public education, law adherence, and technological solutions to mitigate the risk. The onus lies on the public as any technological advance would only work on the multitasking strategy and the price would be paid by the vulnerable road users.

KEY WORDS: Mobile phones; Head Injury; Collision injury; Neck Injury

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