Improving agricultural injury surveillance: A comparison of incidence and type of injury event among three data sources

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BackgroundAgriculture ranks as one of the most hazardous industries in the nation. Ongoing injury surveillance is key to identifying and preventing major sources of injury.ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to compare the total number and types of injuries identified from community reporting versus two newly available medical data systems. These new systems are important because they are less time consuming and expensive to maintain.MethodFarm injury case records from 2007 were collected for 10 NY counties from the following sources: ambulance reports, hospital data, and community surveillance data.ResultsFor the 107 ambulance report cases, horses (35%), tractors (15%), and livestock (10%) were the three leading injury sources. For the 261 hospital cases, the leading sources were hand tools (24%), farmstead machinery (23%), and buildings/structures/surfaces (22%). Tractor injuries (37%) were the most common source of injuries identified by the 44 community surveillance cases. Struck by object was the most frequent injury event type for hospital and surveillance data (34%, 30%). Falls were the highest category for ambulance reports (36%) and were also common for hospital data (29%). Nine of the 11 fatal cases were found through community surveillance.ConclusionAmbulance reports and hospital data contribute a large number of additional farm injury cases to existing surveillance data. From these cases, horse injuries, falls, and hand tool injuries appear to play a larger role in farm injuries. Future research should explore how to best use these electronic resources for agricultural injury surveillance. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:586-596, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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