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, 31 (6), 958-63

Microwave Oven-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital EDs in the United States, 1990 to 2010

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Microwave Oven-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital EDs in the United States, 1990 to 2010

Dana F Thambiraj et al. Am J Emerg Med.

Abstract

Background: The widespread availability of microwave ovens has sparked interest in injuries resulting from their use.

Methods: Using a retrospective cohort design, the objective of this study is to investigate the epidemiology of microwave oven-related injuries treated in United States emergency departments (EDs) from 1990 through 2010 by analyzing data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Results: An estimated 155959 (95% confidence interval [CI], 133515-178402) individuals with microwave oven-related injuries were treated in US hospital EDs from 1990 through 2010, which equals an average of 21 individuals per day; 60.7% were female; 63.3% were adults (≥18 years); 98.1% of injury events occurred at home; and 3.9% of patients were hospitalized. During the 21-year study period, the number and rate of microwave oven-related injuries increased significantly by 93.3% and 50.0%, respectively. The most common mechanism of injury was a spill (31.3%), and the most common body region injured was the hand and fingers (32.4%). Patients younger than 18 years were more likely to sustain an injury to their head and neck (relative risk: 1.65; 95% CI, 1.39-1.96) than adults.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate microwave oven-related injuries on a national scale. Microwave ovens are an important source of injury in the home in the United States. The large increases in the number and rate of these injuries underscore the need for increased prevention efforts, especially among young children.

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