Background Data regarding the epidemiology of traumatic hand/finger amputations are scarce. Likewise country specific risk factors that would lead to tailored interventions are rarely available, despite the high costs associated with reconstructive surgery and the frequently permanent disability.
Objectives To investigate epidemiological characteristics of hand amputations among Greek adults, focusing of preventable causes.
Methods Nationwide extrapolations were produced on the basis of the Emergency Department Injury Surveillance System (EDISS) records over 10-years; along with text analysis, these data were also used to derive the epidemiologic profile of the respective injuries.
Results Among ∼300 000 injured individuals >14 years, 20% presented with a hand/finger injury, out of which 728 were amputations (∼1.3% of hand injuries), leading to a 39.3/100 000 person-years incidence rate for hand amputations. The annual probability of a severe hand injury requiring hospital attention was 3%. Of note, 15% were migrant workers (∼3-fold higher risk). Males (90%) outnumbered women and the incidence peaked in ages 45–64; occupational were characterised two-thirds of the accidents. Machinery (56%), materials (11%) and parts of buildings/furniture (8%) were the most commonly products involved, with wood-working being a worth-noting risk factor (20%). Interestingly, inattention (6%) was reported as the underlying cause by the amputees themselves, 10% of whom were transferred to specialised units for replantation/reconstructive surgery.
Significance/Contribution to the Field A noticeable proportion of all outpatient injuries involve the hand with hand/finger amputations with 10% referral for reconstruction. Indispensable for decision-making databases, like EDISS, show the domains that should be targeted to reduce unnecessary suffering.
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