We present a series of 331 patients admitted to hospital in 1980-87 with abdominal injuries after blunt trauma. The patients included 230 males and 101 females. The median age was 29 years. More than half of the patients were injured in traffic accidents. 11% were transferred to our Trauma Center from other hospitals, median five hours after the accident. A doctor-manned helicopter transported 52 patients (18%) directly to our hospital. 70% had extra-abdominal injuries as well. A minimum of 20% were intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs. Severe injuries (AIS greater than 3) were present in 46%. 168 patients underwent laparotomy, in 56% within two hours of admission. In 27 of the 168 laparotomized patients (16%) no intraabdominal injury was encountered that needed repair.
In recent years, a focus on workers' ability, rather than impairment, has guided disability management services. However, a challenge with the notion of 'ability' is identification of the border between ability and inability. This article considers this gray zone of disability management in the case of a workers' compensation vocational retraining program for injured workers in Ontario.
In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of 71 participants who were directly involved with the vocational retraining process. Workers in the program had on average incurred injury 3 years earlier. Procedural and legal documents were also analyzed. Principles of grounded theory and discourse analysis guided the data gathering and analysis.
A program focus on worker abilities did not allow for consideration of unresolved medical problems. Concepts such as maximum medical rehabilitation distracted attention from workers' ongoing chronic and unstable health situations, and incentive levers to employers directed some of the least capable workers into the program. As well, communication pathways for discussing health problems were limited by rules and provider reluctance to reveal problems. Therefore, workers completing the program were deemed 'employable', while ongoing and problematic health conditions preventing employment remained relatively uncharted and invisible.
This study reinforces how the shift in disability management paradigm to a focus on ability and return to work requires consideration of environmental conditions, including policies and programs and implementation. A focus on the environment in which worker ability can be enacted might be as important as a focus on improving individual worker characteristics.
Sick-leave between 1984 and 1989 was higher among both female (n = 515) and male (n = 304) fish-processing workers [observed/expected (O/E) 2.24 and 1.69, respectively] than among non-exposed groups (0.62 and 0.89). Diagnoses in the musculoskeletal system dominated (i.e., neck/upper limbs; females, exposed vs. non-exposed workers: 30 vs. 12%; males: 11 vs. 5.8%). In subjects who left employment, the O/E-ratio decreased (females: 3.02 vs. 1.55; males: 2.40 vs. 1.55). Among those women hired before the start of the observation period, exposed subjects had higher frequencies of sick-leave than non-exposed, for both total illness and musculoskeletal diagnoses. In the men, there were corresponding differences, though not fully statistically significant. Reported occupational diseases [O/E: females: 4.5; (95% confidence interval) CI = 3.2-6.1; males: 2.3; CI = 1.3-3.9] and accidents (females: 4.3; CI = 3.0-5.9; males: 1.8; CI = 1.2-2.7) were also higher in female than in male fish-processing workers, and much higher than in non-exposed workers. In conclusion, work in the fish-processing industry was associated with increased frequencies of sick-leave, especially because of diagnoses of the musculoskeletal system, and occupational disorders and accidents, in particular among female workers.
The aim of the present study was to investigate absence from work in Denmark due to occupational and non-occupational accidents.
Since the beginning of the last decade, political focus has been placed on the population's working capacity and the scope of absence due to illness. Absence from work is estimated at between 3% and 6% of working hours in the EU and costs are estimated at approximately 2.5% of GNP.
Victims of accidents treated at two emergency departments were interviewed regarding absence for the injured, the family and others. All answers were linked to the hospital information on the injury, so that it was possible to examine the relation between absence and injury type, and cause of the accident.
In total, 1,479 injured persons were interviewed. 36% of these reported absence from work by themselves or others. In mean, an injury caused 3.21 days of absence. Based on this the total absence due to injuries in Denmark was estimated to 1,822,000 workdays, corresponding to approximately 6% of the total absence from work due to all types of illness. Non-occupational injuries resulted in more absence than did occupational injuries.
Absence due to accidents contributed to a considerable part of the total absence from work, and non-occupational accidents caused more absence than did occupational accidents.
Are absenteeism indicators usefull as predictor of serious morbidity in a working population? To seek an answer was the objective of a double case-control study carried out in a large company (17000 workers) of Quebec Province. In the first study, 64 cases of myocardial infarction (incidence density = 1.66% +/- 0.35) were compared with 64 controls matched for sex, age and type of work. In the second one, 142 cases of labor accident were compared with 142 controls sampled in a similar way. Absenteeism frequency and length were analysed during the period of 6 to 12 years prior to the onset of the health problem. Ratios were calculated on an individual basis for all causes of absence and for sick leave; they were adjusted for length of service. A four classes interval scale was used for the comparison. An excess of absence length exists in the two studies. The excess is not significant for the myocardial infarction cases (+ 33%, with a statistical power = 51%). It is significant for the labor accident cases (+ 52%, p less than 0.01). The corresponding odds ratio calculated in reference to the lowest absence group were 2.4 (0.9-6.6) and 2.7 (1.5-4.9). The cumulative absence length can be considered as a predictor of serious disease. A conceptual framework of the relationship between absence and natural disease history is presented. The epidemiological approach to the phenomenon of absence is certainly usefull in spite of the controversy underlined by the social sciences.
Accidental mechanical asphyxia is an unusual cause of death. In reviewing 73 cases occurring during a 10-year-period in Sweden, young boys and elderly women seemed to be most prone to this type of fatality. A striking number of victims had deliberately put a noose-like structure around the neck, and yet another group became entangled in some part of their clothing. Thoracic immobilization was seen in a number of cases, also involving work-related accidents. Hospitalized patients, asphyxiophilics and inebriated victims represent other risk groups. A case involving the use of a helmet is reported in view of the growing frequency with which Swedish children use bicycle helmets. The material contains only a few cases where the victim was not alone at the time of the accident, and it seems plausible that supervision could have prevented many of the reported fatalities. Public knowledge of accident mechanisms may increase the awareness of hazardous situations and activities. Spreading of the medical examiner's knowledge may thus form a basis for accident prevention.
Gases may be formed in containers for inflammable fluids and these may burn explosively if lit. Even apparently empty containers may contain sufficient quantities of gas to result in violent explosions precipitated by procedures which produce heat or sparks in the neighbourhood of the container. Seventeen persons were found to be injured in accidents of this type in a Danish investigation. Two of the accidental injuries proved fatal. The serious risk involved in handling and treating containers which contain or have contained inflammable fluids is, therefore, emphasized.