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Arch Med Sadowej Kryminol. 2011 Jan-Mar;61(1):29-34.

[Cardiac deaths in hard coal-mining industry as an indicator of efficiency of occupational medicine services].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

  • 1Z Katedry i Zakładu Medycyny Sadowej i Toksykologii Sadowo-Lekarskiej, Slaskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach, Katowice. rafal-skowronek@wp.pl

Abstract

Deaths in hard-coal mining industry can be divided into: accidental (usually of a single character) and non-accidental-intentional (homicide, suicide) and natural (with a pathological background, 'without external factors'). The main cause of natural deaths is myocardial infarction (MI). Its risk is increased by environmental factors in working place, unhealthy life style, cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking, which is often an attempt at coping with chronic stress, so proper prevention, qualification and periodic examination of workers is indispensable. The aim of the study is to analyze cases of miners' cardiac deaths investigated in Department of Forensic Medicine in Katowice and the number of natural deaths in hard-coal mines in the years 1999-2010. There were 298 accidental and 122 natural deaths, the latter showing an increasing tendency in the years 2002-2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Natural deaths--in 95% sudden cardiac deaths--constituted 29% of all deaths in hard-coal mining industry. Autopsies supplemented by histopathological investigations often revealed advanced atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, which should disqualify a candidate from working underground. A high number of natural deaths in hard-coal mining industry and morphological post mortem assessment of victims indicate insufficiency of occupational medicine services. We propose an improvement of its quality and a higher frequency of periodic examinations of workers (especially in groups with the highest risk of MI), as well as courses of Basic Life Support (BLS). Forensic medicine may be socially useful in assessing the efficiency of occupational medicine services in mining industry.

PMID:
22117485
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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