Introduction: The severity of occupational hand injuries ranges from mild to serious (such as loss of a limb). Here, we retrospectively studied patients presenting to an emergency department with hand injuries and the causes of such injuries. We recommend measures that will reduce occupational injuries and the associated effects on the workforce.
Methods: Injuries diagnosed as occupational accidents from January 2017 to June 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. A total of 221 cases met this inclusion criterion. The following variables were analyzed: Age, sex, occupational injury type, time from trauma to emergency department admission, insurance status, whether or not consultation was requested, injury details, and operations performed. All data were statistically analyzed.
Results: Patient age ranged from 18 to 65 years (average 31.4 years). Of all patients, 85% were male and 15% female. Most hand injuries were caused by sharp objects (81 cases), followed by angle grinders or saws (33), compression (66), and falls (24). Fifty-one cases were treated in the emergency department and subsequently discharged without any further consultation. However, 172 cases were referred onward, 151 to the plastic surgery department and 21 to the orthopedic department. The vast majority (143) of referred patients required further surgical interventions.
Discussion and Conclusion: The incidence of limb loss can be reduced by increasing the number of finger re-attachment centers and improving existing centers. We believe that better education would decrease the incidence of workplace injuries in Türkiye. An increase in the number of qualified workers and more rigorous certification would ensure that workers are adequately informed of the difficulties and dangers of any particular job. If more precautions were taken, time lost from work would decrease.