Hobby drone injuries on the rise

  • Johnson JA & al.
  • Am J Prev Med
  • 1 dic. 2019

  • de Jenny Blair, MD
  • Clinical Essentials
El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados. El acceso al contenido completo es sólo para profesionales sanitarios registrados.

Takeaway

  • Since 2015, rates of injuries involving drones have risen.
  • Propeller guards, hand protection, and safety goggles might help reduce common injury patterns among drone and model-aircraft hobbyists.

Why this matters

  • By 2020, sales of hobby aircraft are expected to double to 4 million from their 2016 sales of 2 million.
  • Amid reports of sometimes gruesome drone injuries, this is the first nationwide study, according to authors.

Key results

  • Propeller caused 74.2% of injuries (95% CI, 68.6%-79.8%).
  • Lacerations/amputations/avulsions accounted for 88.5% of injuries (95% CI, 84.1%-92.9%).
  • Injured body part:
    • Upper extremity: 65.7% (95% CI, 57.2%-74.1%).
    • Head/face/trunk/other: 34.3% (95% CI, 25.9%-42.8%).
  • Drone vs model airplane/helicopter injuries:
    • Incidence rose beginning 2015 vs falling beginning 2016.
    • Mean patient age, 34 vs 58 years (P<.001>
    • Proportion of female patients: 13.1% vs 0.4% (P<.001>
    • Likelier to arise from blunt trauma (40.5% vs 7.9%; P<.001 e.g. falling during retrieval vs or being hit by model class=""> 
  • Of 12,842 injured patients, 270 required hospitalization.

Study design

  • Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which captures consumer product-related injuries treated in US emergency departments, 2010-2017 (n=12,842).
  • Outcomes: demographics, injury patterns.  
  • Funding: None.

Limitations

  • Unclear whether injured parties were operators or bystanders.