Death and Disability From Agricultural Injuries in Wisconsin: A 12-year Experience With 739 Patients

J Trauma. 1991 Dec;31(12):1632-7. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199112000-00012.

Abstract

During a 12-year period, 739 patients were admitted to a referral trauma center as the result of injuries incurred while farming. There were 608 (82%) male patients and 131 female patients. Ages ranged from 1 to 89 years including 160 patients (22%) less than 16 years old and 78 patients (11%) more than 65 years old. The injury mechanism was a farm animal in 225 (30%), farm machinery in 168 (23%), a tractor in 120 (16%), a fall in 77 (10%), a power take-off in 47 (7%), a cornpicker in 42 (6%), and miscellaneous in 60 (8%). There were 16 (2%) deaths attributable to the agricultural accident. Tractors were involved in eight of these deaths, falls in four, power take-offs in three, and farm machinery in one. Furthermore, 159 (22%) patients were left with significant permanent disability including orthopedic problems in 131 patients, neurologic deficits in 22, and pulmonary disability in 6. Agricultural trauma is frequent and diverse with unique injury mechanisms. Life-threatening injuries are often seen and permanent disability is common. Effective injury prevention must focus on farmer education, additional mandatory safety features on agricultural equipment, and appropriate design of rural trauma systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational* / mortality
  • Accidents, Occupational* / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology