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Experience Not Always the Best Prescription for Snowblowers
Date:2/27/2009

New study finds experience does not always keep hands injury-free

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Snowblower-related injuries to the hand have been on the rise in recent years, with more than 5,000 injuries reported each year in the United States. Many of those injuries might be prevented with better safety features, according to a study presented today at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) (http://www.aaos.org/). Timely public safety announcements and increased safety features may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to reducing snowblower-related hand injuries, it adds.

"Snowblower injuries are considered 'low-velocity missile' wounds. Nonetheless, the zone of injury is often much more extensive than can be seen on initial examination. In addition, although the injuries can be treated, the return to complete function is often not possible. As such, prevention of these injuries is truly the optimal strategy," said Daniel Master, M.D., the study's lead author and an orthopaedic surgery resident at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.

Dr. Master and his team studied 22 patients who were treated between 2002 and 2005 at Connecticut's Hartford Hospital for snowblower injuries to the hand. The study considered factors such as:

  • age of the snowblower operator
  • experience of the operator
  • age of the snowblower itself
  • alcohol consumption near the time of snowblower use
  • snowfall accumulation
  • higher or lower temperature on the day of injury

The study revealed that snowblower injuries are most often associated with:

  • level of operator experience

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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