Taking business on the road with you can have its hazards as a scientist in London will attest after he ended up with a burned penis from using his laptop computer. According to CNN.com, the 50-year-old unnamed scientist reported a “burning sensation” after using his laptop computer situated on his lap for about an hour while writing a report.
The scientist noticed irritation and redness, but until he was examined by a doctor the following day, he didn’t realize the scope of the damage done by his computer.
“The ventral part of his scrotal skin had turned red, and there was a blister with a diameter of about two centimetres (0.8 inches),” wrote Claes-Gorn Ostenson, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, in a letter published by The Lancet and reported by CNN.com. While the wound eventually became infected and crusted, subsequent reports on the unidentified scientist’s condition deemed him healing rapidly.
Laptop computers have inherent ergonomics risks associated with their small keyboards, awkward positioning of the user in relationship to the attached screen and keyboard, and the laptop’s heavy carry-on load. During normal use, however, burned penises aren’t often considered a potential side effect. Even so, Ostenson stated that the computer’s manual did warn against using the laptop computer while naked, but the scientist claimed to have been fully clothed at the time of the incident.