A survey of all American Veterinary Medical Association members in Minnesota and Wisconsin was conducted by questionnaire to document injuries resulting from animal treatment. Of 995 respondents, 64.6% had sustained a major animal-related injury. Seventeen per cent were hospitalized within the last year. Of those hospitalized, 25.3% required a surgical procedure. Hand injuries were most common in a veterinarian's career (52.6% of respondents), followed by trauma to the arms (27.6%), and the head (20.8%). The thorax (8.3%), genitalia (3.9%), and intra-abdominal viscera (2.8%) were injured less often.
Operative procedures were frequently required to treat veterinarian injury from animal patients. Thirty-five per cent of veterinarians required treatment for suture of lacerations, 10% for reduction of fracture/dislocation, and 5% for dental work in their career. One craniotomy and one carotid artery repair were necessary.
Mechanism of injury was animal kick (35.5%), bite (34%), crush (11.7%), scratch (3.8%), and other interesting causes (14.9%). These included the patient pushing, goring, head butting, running over, and falling on the veterinarian. Additional work-related hazards included zoonotic disease, autoinoculation of live brucella vaccine, and self- inflicted scalpel injuries from sudden patient movement. The most common animals involved were bovine (46.5%), canine (24.2%), and equine (15.2%). Lost ays from work secondary to animal injury averaged 1.3 days (range 0-180 days) in 1986 and 8.5 days (range 0-365 days) during the veterinarian's career.
Job-related automobile accidents also occurred. Veterinarians averaged more than 300 miles driven per week, and only 56% reported following the speed limit. Fifteen per cent did not wear seat belts.
Self-treatment of injuries was common. Four per cent of veterinarians reduced their own fractures and dislocations, 20% sutured their own lacerations, and 67.5% self-administered antibiotics.
Reduction of animal-related injury may be possible through formal course work in graduate education, liberal use of tranquilizers, and increased utilization of mechanical devices for patient restraint.
JOURNAL AND NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE ID#
JOURNAL: J Trauma. 1988; 28(8): 1255-1259.
Note: Journal of Trauma.NLOM ID#: 88317046 .
Publication #: 88317046
This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
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