A Chinese woman developed blood clots on her brain after spending 20 straight hours looking at her phone screen during a train trip, according to local media reports.
The 47-year-old woman, a migrant worker, took a train from her hometown in central China’s Henan province to the southern city of Guangzhou at end of the Lunar New Year holiday, video news site Kankan News reported on Tuesday.
Like many others, she used her phone to kill time during the trip.
The train was packed, which made it hard for her to move, and she maintained largely the same posture for over 20 hours, lying on her right-hand side throughout the journey.
The woman fainted when she got off the train and was sent to hospital, where a CAT scan found several blood clots had formed on her brain.
Doctors immediately performed a three-hour operation to remove the clots to prevent further blockages to the arteries in the brain – which would have been life-threatening.
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“We took out many blood clots, almost two centimetres in total, which is twice what patients usually have,” Meng Heng, a neurologist at the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University in Guangzhou, told the video site.
“We think she kept the same posture for too long, which compressed the blood vessels on the right side of her neck.”
The woman, whose name was not given, had been in good health and was not suffering from any cardiovascular diseases before the incident.
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Meng warned that doctors were seeing increasing numbers of younger patients suffering from blood clots. Like the woman mentioned above, many young people spend a lot of time on their smartphones.
"I spend two to three hours a day on my phone and, yeah, my fingers are painful after using it for a while. Also, after using my phone I feel like it has taken away all my energy, and I feel so tired," Eunice Yip, 17, of Pooi To Middle School said.
Young Post cadets Gillian Wong, Esther Leung, and Venus Kwong, all 16 years old and all from Creative Secondary School each spend an average of seven hours a day on their phones, and while they all worry about their eye sight, none are too bothered by what long hours on their phones might do to their health in the long term to stop using their phones as much.
"I sometimes worry my eye sight is going to be bad, but I usually just ignore the fact and keep using my phone," said Gillian. And while Venus shares a similar sentiment, Esther is worried about one more thing.
"I'm a little worry my eyesight will get worse, although I may not realise (the harm) in the moment," Venus says, "I also worry that my back might have problems when I grow older."
"I tell myself that I don’t spend too much time on my phone," says Felix Yeung, 15, of Hong Kong International School, "but a quick check has told me that, on average, I spend six hours a day on my device. I feel like I should be worried. Still, I am not."
Meng advised smartphone users to make sure they adopted a comfortable posture, make sure they keep moving and take long screen breaks.
Last October a 21-year-old gaming addict in southern China was reported to have lost the sight in one eye after she suffered a retinal artery occlusion after spending the whole day playing the popular game Honour of Kings on her smartphone.
In the latest incident, the woman was pictured recovering in hospital – passing the time by looking at her phone.