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The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database recently concluded that more than 78,000 cases of acute computer-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 1994 through 2006. That number seems astounding. But breaking it down some, it does seem to have some context:

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.

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.

In this business, we see a lot of people injured in a lot of different ways. But, this study suggests that as we sit at our computers, we need to make sure what we do around the computer is done carefully.

Think about where cords are.

Don’t lift it without using your legs or getting help

Watch out how safely balanced the computer is

Always watch out around electricity.


  1. Gravatar for Daniel 8791

    This is a >shocking< list of odd injuries. Electricity, that last line on your list; is what almost got me on the first day that I got a computer. I spilled a nice big cup of water on the keyboard and got the heck away from it in a hurry. I had to make an extra trip back to the store for a new keyboard, but thankfully I've had no other incidents since except for the occasional toe stubbing. Thanks for the interesting post.

  2. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    I was surprised also when I looked into this issue. Thanks for taking the time to read and supply your personal story.

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