Doors are extremely dangerous!
Hand injuries, although unlikely to be life-threatening, can be life-altering. An injured hand can make everyday tasks difficult and tiresome, if not impossible.
Doors are inherently dangerous. If a hand is caught in the gap of a closing door, the injuries can range from minor to serious.
- When it occurs near the latch or handle of the door, it may involve simple bruising, but if the door is closing with sufficient velocity – as when slammed by a person or when driven by a strong draught – it can be quite serious. Handle-side injuries are beyond the scope of this invention.
- However, the damage can be much more severe when a part of a hand is trapped near the hinged end of the door.
These are the injuries which the Boyer Safety Door™ will reliably prevent.
Statistics obtained from the web show that:
- in 2003, there were an estimated 356,960 hospital emergency cases related to door sills or frames in the US, inviting lawsuits
- some 40,000 injuries were recorded in England by trapping fingers in doors, of which more than 5% required amputation or painful reconstructive surgery
- an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (see below) refers to a rise in the number and severity of such injuries at Sydney hospitals
Extrapolating these statistics, the annual number of door-related hand injuries could be in the millions worldwide.
Especially for children, the danger is ever-present not only in the family home, but also in child-care centres and other public buildings.
An article by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) says:
“A study into finger jam injuries found the hinge side of the door to have caused 60% of the injuries.”
The article goes on to say:
“The hinge side… has greater potential for serious injury… These figures are consistent with those of.. [a] Dutch study (75% of under 12 year olds were injured in the hinge side). The study recommended investigation into rounded edges on the closing hinge sides of doors… which can be incorporated at the building stage. (Venema, 1995).”
Here’s an extract from an article by Kate Benson, Medical Reporter, in the Sydney Morning Herald – October 22, 2008
“PARENTS are being warned to be vigilant as doctors report a spike in the number of children presenting at hospital with crushed fingers needing amputation, surgery and long-term rehabilitation. A staff specialist in pediatric emergency medicine at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Liz Cotterell, yesterday said more than 300 children had been treated for crush injuries in the emergency department in the past three years because many parents were not aware of the dangers.
“[In Australia] we have no national standards when it comes to door safety
and no public awareness campaigns to teach people about the potential dangers and as a result, we keep seeing these injuries,” Dr Cotterell said. A recent study of more than 11,000 children, published in the international journal Pediatrics, showed that hinges and frames presented the greatest danger to small children. At Sydney Children’s Hospital, about 22 per cent of children with crushed fingers need surgery. Almost 100 children have been treated this year, more than the number seen in the whole of 2006.
“When we see these children, they are in a significant amount of distress and so are their parents,” Dr Cotterell said. “Their fingers may be small but these type of injuries can be very significant because children are using their digits to learn and explore their environment. And children under five do not have the awareness and learned experience of older children.”