Accidental occupational injuries to endoscopy personnel in a high-volume endoscopy suite during the last decade: mechanisms, workplace hazards, and proposed remediation

Cappell, Mitchell; Cappell, Mitchell S
February 2011
Digestive Diseases & Sciences;Feb2011, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p479
Academic Journal
journal article
Introduction: Scant data exist about accidental occupational injuries in endoscopy suites. This work systematically analyzes injuries, identifies workplace hazards, and proposes hazard remediation to potentially reduce risks.Methods: A retrospective study was performed on 14 previously unreported injuries among 120 endoscopy suite personnel in a high-volume endoscopy suite during 2000-2010, identified by medical records, employee records, and interviews. Injuries, mechanisms, outcomes, and workplace hazards were analyzed.Results: Seventeen endoscopy personnel suffered occupational accidents in an endoscopy suite, including three previously reported cases of tripping on exposed wires (rate = 1.35/100 worker-years). The 14 newly reported accidents include: hand crushed against narrow doorway while transporting patients, 4; striking head against ceiling-mounted video monitors, 3; slip and fall on wet floor, 3; injury while breaking patient's fall, 2; injury while turning patient during colonoscopy, 1; and tripping over misplaced wheelchair, 1. Injuries included: hand-crush injury, 4; myofascial back strain, 2; scalp laceration, 2; knee contusion, 2; and other, 4 (mean = 6.1 ± 15.5 lost workdays, 6.1 ± 10.1 restricted workdays). Two gastroenterologists suffered a torn tendon or coccyx fracture from slip and falls while working in the hospital. Proposed hazard remediation includes: replace bulky, heavy CRT video monitors with sleek, light LCD-flat-panel-screens to reduce likelihood and impact of head collisions; eliminate sharp edges on video monitor supports; widen doorways to accommodate extra-wide stretchers; slip-resistant flooring for rooms with frequent liquid spills; and parking wheelchairs away from traffic areas.Conclusions: Potentially correctable design flaws may frequently contribute to accidents in endoscopy suites, including: bulky overhead video monitors, too narrow doors for extra-wide stretchers, absence of slip-resistant flooring, and wires exposed above the floor.


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