Snowblower injuries to the hand.

Chir Main 2014 Sep 25;33(4):272-8. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Service d'orthopédie, de traumatologie, de chirurgie plastique, reconstructrice et assistance main & CIC IT 808, CHU Jean-Minjoz, 3, boulevard Fleming, 25000 Besançon, France; EA 4268 Innovation, imagerie, ingénierie et intervention en santé « I4S », IFR 133 Inserm, faculté de médecine et de pharmacie, université de Franche-Comté, Franche-Compté, France.

The aim of this study was to describe the nature and incidence of hand injuries caused by snowblowers, as well as the accident conditions and accident prevention. We conducted a retrospective evaluation over ten consecutive winters. Nine patients were included. All were men with an average age of 49.7 years (17-71). The accidents occurred at home in seven out of nine patients. The machine was running in 50% of the injury events. In most cases, the injuries occurred when the patient tried to unclog snow from the lateral discharge chute. Only four out of the nine patients had read the instructions or received instructions from the salesperson. The dominant hand was injured in 7 out of 9 patients. An average of 2.7 fingers were injured. The longest fingers were most commonly injured: 8 middle fingers, 7 ring fingers, 4 little fingers, 2 indexes and 1 thumb. All the fractures were open. Three patients were operated on several times. In 7 out of 9 cases, the patients had sequelae such as amputation. The mean time off work was 11.4 weeks (3-24). All the patients were experienced snowblower users (9 years and 57th use on average). Snowblower accidents are very mutilating. Prevention must include protected access to blades and better verbal and written safety warnings.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.main.2014.06.002DOI Listing

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September 2014
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