Background Injuries accounts for 9% of world deaths. In Sri Lanka, injuries were the leading cause of hospital admissions for the past decade. Published data on the burden of work place injuries in Sri Lanka are scarce.
Aim To describe the burden of work place injuries to the surgical unit in the General Hospital, Nuwara-Eliya, Sri Lanka.
Methods A descriptive study was carried out in the surgical unit from 1 May 2008 to 30 June 2008. All patients admitted during this period with work place injuries were included in the study. Data were collected using an interviewer administered structured questionnaire. Data were entered into an excel data sheet and was analysed using SPSS 12.1 statistical software.
Results Of the admissions with unintentional injuries work place injuries constituted 25.5% (n=83). The mean age of the injured was 33.5 years (SD=11.0 years). Majority were males (79.5%). Only 14 (16.9%) were under the influence of alcohol at the time of admission. A total of 247 patient days were spent by this sample (mean=2.6 days and SD=1.7 days, range 1–8 days). Majority of the injured had injuries to fingers and hands (36.1%) with lacerations, tendon cuts and fractures while 13.3% were admitted with injuries to the lower limbs.
Discussion and Conclusions Hand and finger injuries were an important cause of work place injuries (36.1%) and needs improvement of safety measures for its prevention and control.
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