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Epidemiology of hand injuries in a middle-sized city in southern Sweden: a retrospective comparison of 1989 and 1997.

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  • 1Department of Hand Surgery, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


Case notes of patients with hand injuries that required referral to our department in 1989 and 1997, were analysed retrospectively. The incidence of such an injury was at least 7/1000 inhabitants/year (12% of the patients seen in the orthopaedic Accident and Emergency department). Most of the patients were young men with minor injuries, most commonly injured during leisure activities. Only 22% of the patients who worked were injured at work, but such injuries increased the risk of admission to hospital. The amount of sick leave was significantly shorter in 1997, and 77% of the workers were off work for less than two months. There was a reduced risk of injury during July, November, and December, and on Tuesdays. Type and range (type/mechanism/severity) of injuries differed slightly between the years and among the various age groups. Epidemiological data about hand injuries that affect young patients of productive age, are important to optimise resources and organisation of the health care system.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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