No swine flu again today. At least no swine flu on this blog. There’s a shit house full of swine flu in the world. But we are otherwise occupied and there is a bevy of terrific flu bloggers out there. And I was away from the keyboard all day yesterday, which causes serious withdrawal symptoms: anxiety and palpitations when I think of the email piling up and the posts not written. It could be worse. I could be around my computer and seriously injured:
According to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, more than 78,000 cases of acute computer-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 1994 through 2006.
About 93% of the injuries occurred at home.
Over the study period, the number of acute computer-related injuries increased by 732%, which is more than double the increase in household computer ownership of 309%, researchers say in a news release.
Reported injuries were due to hitting body parts or getting caught on computer equipment, tripping, or falling over wires or other gadgets, equipment falling on top of people, and the straining of joints and muscles, according to the researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy, the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the Ohio State University College of Medicine. (Bill Hendrick, WebMD)
Like seasonal flu, the highest at risk categories for computer-related mishaps are the very young and the elderly, with tripping and falling coming in at number one. Here’s more from the same WebMD article:
- 99.3% of patients seen at ERs for computer injuries were treated and released, though 4% of people 60 and over were admitted or transferred to another hospital.
- 58.9% of injuries involved moving the computer or a component. Also, 15.4% of injuries were related to fixing, installing, or plugging in a computer, and 6.7% to using one.
- The most common diagnosis in all age groups was laceration — 58.4% to the extremities and 41.3% to the head. Contusions and abrasions were the second most common injury.
Since these are only ER visit injuries it is only a portion of the true toll. I don’t even want to think about the lower back injuries, shoulder wrenches and shin bruises that don’t make it as far as the ER. If you do wind up there, we can add swine flu contracted when sitting in a waiting room full of coughing virus aerosolizers.
OK, so I did sneak in some swine flu. I can’t seem to stop myself.