Third-degree burn leading to partial foot amputation - Why a notebook is no laptop

Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.
Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.42). 01/2012; 65(8):1119-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2011.12.034
Source: PubMed


So far a few case reports about laptops causing burns have been published. Now for the first time, we report on a case, in which notebook-induced thermal injuries placed in a patient's lap resulted in severe second- and third-degree burns. As a consequence, a partial amputation of the left foot had to be performed. Furthermore, we measured maximum temperatures of 12 popular laptops, which were running full load for 3 h. For this experiment air circulation underneath the device was blocked in order to simulate surrounding conditions, which were present when the patient got injured. Although this setting may be the reason for most of all notebook burns, this kind of test has not been part of any scientific publication until now. Patients with lower extremity sensation, altered consciousness or decreased peripheral sensitivity have a higher risk for thermal injuries.

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