Bizarre Emergency Room Injuries

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

Who's to blame for these strange accidents? Credit: Sismoon, Flickr

The South Florida Sun Sentinel recently posted a database of more than 347,000 injuries as reported by emergency rooms across the country (we discovered it at Deadspin.com). The info comes from The Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), according to the paper. The injuries listed in the database are all "associated with consumer products," according to the CPSC's Web site.

An introductory paragraph on the Sentinel's Web site states that "Many injuries found here are the result of accidents or carelessness and not the fault of the product itself."

We'll be the judge of that, thank you.

We sorted the list by age to find some of the more bizarre emergency room injuries that involved children. (Note that we left in the spelling errors.) Let's look at a few of the less gruesome entries, and speculate on who might be to blame.Baby's first football injury

Sure, it helps to start playing sports at a young age. But isn't 2 a bit young for football?
Toy-up-the-nose story

This next one has happened many times before. Not to anyone we know, of course.
  • Treatment date: 1/13/2008
  • Age: 2
  • Sex: Male
  • Race: Other
  • Narrative: PT PUT SMALL TOY IN NOSE. DX: LWBS.
  • Whose fault? Oh, definitely the toy. It crawled up the nasal cavity on its own, right? Riiiight.
Money for dinner

There are a lot of swallowed coins, but this one stood out because of the wording.
  • Treatment date: 3/18/2008
  • Age: 2
  • Sex: Male
  • Race: Not stated
  • Narrative: SWOLLOWED A DIME, NO RESPIRTORY DISTRESS, WITNESSED BY MOM >>FOREING BODY INGESTION
  • Whose fault? "Witnessed by mom" makes it sound like she was just watching. "Oh, hi honey, what are you eating? Oh, a dime? That's nice, dear." That probably isn't what happened, of course. How many times have you seen your child eating something they shouldn't be eating and rushed over to try and stop them, only to miss the ingestion by mere moments? So, while mom may have been a witness, it is unlikely that she was an accomplice. These things happen. Maybe everyone could be a little more careful next time.
Blame the player, not the arcade game

This next one? Maybe we could blame the parent.
  • Treatment date: 7/12/2008
  • Age: 2
  • Sex: Male
  • Race: Other
  • Narrative: FELL OFF ARCADE GAME AT LAUNDROMAT;DX CHI
  • Whose fault? Yes, kids can get bored watching the clothes go around in the dryer, but is climbing on top of an arcade game really the only other option? Gotta blame the parent here. Climbing on top of an arcade game takes skill -- and time. Not that we would know this firsthand, of course.
We started out by sorting the database by age, then discovered you also can search by keyword. For example, a search for "arcade" reveals another case of a 2-year-old falling off an arcade game, this time at a restaurant, plus a 4-year-old who fell on an arcade game at a skating rink. Once again, falling off of an arcade game seems to be a parental problem. Falling on an arcade game? We're not even sure what that means. Probably not the arcade game's fault, but maybe it's some fancy new game that moves around on its own. Maybe.

It's a bizarre and fascinating list. We smell a reality show -- "Real Life E.R." Hey, NBC is looking for something to put on at 10 p.m. They could do worse.

Related: Prepare for the Emergency Room

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.