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Highlights from the injury prevention literature
  1. Anara S Guard

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is no laughing matter, but sometimes, taking a whimsical view can get the reader's attention in ways that nothing else can. I was delighted to find an article analysing 704 TBI cases as portrayed in 34 Asterix comic books. The Asterix series (written by Rene Goscinny) has been popular throughout Europe since it first appeared in 1959, and the books have been translated into more than 100 languages. Not surprisingly, the hapless Romans suffered the most injuries, primarily at the hands of the heroic Gauls. No deaths or permanent deficits seemed to result from the TBIs. An accompanying commentary wonders how these results would compare with, say, the Pink Panther and then reminds us to wear our helmets appropriately. If you enjoyed Asterix and Obelix, you will appreciate this retrospective analysis.

▶ Kamp MA, Slotty P, Sarikaya-Seiwert S, et al. Traumatic brain injuries in illustrated literature: experience from a series of over 700 head injuries in the Asterix comic books. Acta Neurochir 2011;153:1351–5.

Unlike many World Health Organization member nations where suicide dominates as the leading cause of injury mortality, in …

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