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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 12:55 GMT
Burned groin blamed on laptop
Laptop
Hot stuff: Could laptopping be a painful business?
A Swedish scientist who rested his laptop computer on his lap for just an hour needed medical treatment for extensive blistering.

A concerned doctor wrote to The Lancet medical journal after encountering the distressed patient.

He is warning the public of the potential dangers of using a laptop "in the literal sense".

The 50-year-old father-of-two used the laptop machine, of unknown origin, to write a report while sitting in an armchair.

Dr Claes-Goran Ostenson, from Sweden's Karolinska Institute, told the journal: "He had placed his laptop computer on his lap while writing for about one hour.

"The next day he noticed irritation."

Infection

The irration of his penis and scrotum led to blisters, one with a diameter of 2cm.

Dr Ostenson said: "The patient recalled that, while sitting two days earlier with his computer on his lap, he occasionally had felt heat and a burning feeling on his lap and thigh."

Unfortunately for the victim, the blisters broke and developed into infected suppurating wounds.

The manual of the computer concerned told users not to allow the laptop to rest directly onto skin, warning: "With extended operation, heat can potentially build up in the base.

"Allowing sustained contact with the skin could cause discomfort or, eventually, a burn."

However, the patient in this case insisted he had been wearing both trousers and underpants at the time.

See also:

15 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
22 Dec 97 | Business
06 Jul 98 | Health
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