There has been much speculation over the last few years about whether cell phones increase the risk of developing a brain tumor. Research has not conclusively answered this question, which has left consumers confused. The majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals do not have sufficient evidence to show that cell phones increase the risk of brain tumors. The problem is that cell phone technology is in its infancy, so none of these studies could analyze long-term risks. This unknown is a particular issue for children, who will face a lifetime of cell phone usage. While the cell phone/brain tumor connection remains inconclusive, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) cautions that cell phones present plenty of other risks to people’s neurological health, as illustrated by these few real-life scenarios:
~A 29-year-old male was talking on his cell phone while on an escalator, fell backwards, and lacerated his head.
~A 25-year-old male was talking on his cell phone and walked into a street sign, lacerating his head.
~A 43-year-old female fell down 13-14 steps while talking on her cell phone, after drinking alcohol. She suffered a neck sprain and contusions to her head, back, shoulder, and leg.
~A 50-year-old female suffered nerve damage which was related to extensive cell phone usage. She felt pain in her fingers and the length of her arm while holding her cell phone, and was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy.
~A 39-year-old man suffered a head injury after crashing into a tree on his bicycle while texting
~A 16-year-old boy suffered a concussion because he was texting and walked into a telephone pole.
Several studies show cell phones are a leading cause of automobile crashes. It is estimated that drivers distracted by cell phones are four times more likely to be in a motor vehicle accident. The following are some sobering statistics:
~According to a Harvard University study, an estimated 2,600 people die and 12,000 suffer serious to moderate injuries each year in cell phone-related accidents.
~A Canadian study analysis of 26,798 cell phone calls made during the 14-month study period showed that the risk of an automobile accident was four times higher when using a cell phone.
~National statistics indicate that an estimated 50,000 traumatic brain injury-related deaths occur annually in the United States, 25,000-35,000 of which are attributed to motor vehicle accidents.
Cell Phone Injury Prevention Tips
~Talk hands free by using an earpiece or on speaker mode whenever possible.
~Follow all cell phone laws applicable to your city and state these vary greatly.
~Use your cell phone only when safely parked, or have a passenger use it.
~Do not dial the phone or take notes while driving, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.
~Never text message while driving, walking, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.
~Never text message or use a cell phone while performing any physical activities that require attention.
~If your phone rings while driving, let the call go into voice mail and respond later when you are safely parked.
For more information on injury prevention, visit the AANS Web site at: http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_safety.
Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 7,400 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system, including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
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