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Journal Article


Thaunat O, Morelon E. Burns 2010; 36(4): 586-587.


Université Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France; Hospices Civils de Lyon, Service de Transplantation Rénale et d'Immunologie Clinique, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, 5 place d'Arsonval, 69437 Lyon Cedex 03, France.


(Copyright © 2010, Elsevier Publishing)






We report an illustrative case drawing attention on the potential dangers associated with the usage of laptop computers.

A 29-year-old woman, with a 12-year past medical history of type I diabetes mellitus, complicated with neuropathy and nephropathy due to severe microangiopathy consulted us for a 7 cm X 3 cm erythematous lesion with two blisters that appeared on her left thigh a few hours earlier. She explained that the evening before, she spent 1 h chatting on the Internet with her computer resting directly on her uncovered thigh. Interrogation revealed that during this period she had felt heat, a sensation that was relieved when the computer was moved slightly. We diagnosed a laptop computer-induced superficial second-degree thigh burn.

Although generally considered to be safe, laptop computers have recently been under the scrutiny of the media for overheating, battery explosions, and even fires. Besides these problems, caused by malfunctioning devices, the present case of second-degree burn underlines the potential danger associated with the "normal" usage of laptop computers. Of note, if the sensitive neuropathy of the patient has likely played a worsening role, this underlying condition is not mandatory for the burn to occur. Indeed, three previous articles have reported such laptop computer-induced burns in healthy patients

Language: en


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