Interactive journal of medical research 2017 03 236(1) e4 doi 10.2196/ijmr.6568
The monitoring and management of risks regarding children and young people admitted to the emergency department as a result of dangerous behaviors distributed via the Internet should be based on clinical reasoning and knowledge about these social media-related phenomena. Here we examine 2 cases of teenagers who reported severe injuries while performing the "planking" craze, a challenge that consists in lying face-down stiffly like a board on any kind of surface.
Our objective is to examine and describe the Internet craze called planking, also known as the "lying-down game," through 2 case reports from our experience, enriching this study with information gained through discussions with secondary school teenagers.
Details of the 2 case reports were taken from electronic medical records giving information on care support processes, care management, and the costs of traumatic episodes. Demographic data, hemoglobin and serum lactate values, and Injury Severity Scores were evaluated. The study took place in secondary schools of our city from 2013 to 2014 during medical education courses, with the aim of analyzing the influence of social media on teenagers’ activities and behaviors.
Both patients suffered multiple trauma injuries and needed high-level health assistance. The first patient underwent a splenectomy and the second one a nephrectomy; both of them required a long hospital stay (14 and 20 days, respectively), and the costs for their management have been estimated at US $27,000 and US $37,000, respectively. Their decision to perform the planking in dangerous locations was due to their ambition to gain peers’ acclaim through shared videos and pictures.
Reporting and understanding these cases may potentially help prevent future events occurring in similar circumstances: the scientific community cannot leave this problem unaddressed. There is also a role of education resources for health care professionals; for this, we must identify and follow up strange or misleading information found on websites. A key element of this research study was to report physicians’ misperceptions concerning planking and, with these cases used for teaching purposes, improve knowledge of the clinical and forensic aspects of this emerging problem.