Child's Nervous System

, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp 1609–1611 | Cite as

Skull fracture with effacement of the superior sagittal sinus following drone impact: a case report

  • Lawrance K. Chung
  • Yuri Cheung
  • Carlito Lagman
  • Nicholas Au Yong
  • Duncan Q. McBride
  • Isaac Yang
Case Report



The popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, raises safety concerns as they become increasingly common for commercial, personal, and recreational use. Collisions between drones and people may result in serious injuries.

Case report

A 13-year-old male presented with a comminuted depressed skull fracture causing effacement of the superior sagittal sinus secondary to a racing drone impact. The patient experienced a brief loss of consciousness and reported lower extremity numbness and weakness after the accident. Imaging studies revealed bone fragments crossing the superior sagittal sinus with a short, focal segment of blood flow interruption. Neurosurgical intervention was deferred given the patient’s improving neurological deficits, and the patient was treated conservatively. He was discharged home in stable condition.


Drones may represent a hazard when operated inappropriately due to their capacity to fly at high speeds and altitudes. Impacts from drones can carry enough force to cause skull fractures and significant head injuries. The rising popularity of drones likely translates to an increased incidence of drone-related injuries. Thus, clinicians should be aware of this growing trend.


Drone Skull fracture Superior sagittal sinus Unmanned aerial vehicle 



L.K.C was partially supported by the AMA Foundation Seed Grant, the AΩA Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship, the Gurtin Skull Base Fellowship, and the Tina and Fred Segel Benign Brain Tumor & Skull Base Surgery Fellowship. C.L. was partially supported by the Gurtin Skull Base Research Fellowship and the Tina and Fred Segel Benign Brain Tumor & Skull Base Surgery Fellowship. I.Y. was partially supported by the UCLA Visionary Ball Fund Grant, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research UCLA Scholars in Translational Medicine Program Award, the Jason Dessel Memorial Seed Grant, the UCLA Honberger Endowment Brain Tumor Research Seed Grant, and the Stop Cancer! Research Career Development Award.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrance K. Chung
    • 1
  • Yuri Cheung
    • 1
  • Carlito Lagman
    • 1
  • Nicholas Au Yong
    • 1
  • Duncan Q. McBride
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isaac Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryRonald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Head and Neck SurgeryRonald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyRonald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterRonald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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