Background: Injuries due to high-pressure injections are frequently underestimated occupational accidents, which may have disabling outcomes.
Methods: The occupational injuries logbooks of two shipyards were examined. Twelve accidents due to the utilization of high-pressure equipment were reported. Data were obtained by reviewing the employers' logbooks and hospital records.
Results: Contaminants were epoxy paint and stucco, paint solvent, hydraulic and industrial oil. In three cases, the palm was injured and the fingers in nine. In 91% of cases, the accident occurred in the last 2 hr of the work shift. Mishandling (n = 9) and rupture of the high-pressure equipment (n = 3) were the causes. Mean time to medical treatment was 42.5 hr (SD 56.0). Ten workers were permanently disabled.
Conclusions: Prompt surgical intervention with debridement and decompression was done in two workers, who healed completely. The ten patients who were not treated immediately eventually experienced a high rate of disability and five of them also suffered amputation.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.