When the Bough Breaks: A 10-Year Review of Logging Injuries Treated at a Rural Trauma Center in Pennsylvania

Johnson, Colleen M.; Lagares-Garcia, Jorge A.; Miller, S. Lee
July 2002
American Surgeon;Jul2002, Vol. 68 Issue 7, p573
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to describe logging-related injuries at a Pennsylvania trauma center and evaluate the impact of helmets and profession. Charts of patients from 1990 through 1999 admitted after logging accidents were retrospectively reviewed. Most injuries were to the head (71 in 28 patients). Injury Severity Score was greater for helmeted loggers (21.0 vs 11.8; P = 0.02) but did not differ by profession. Mean hospital stay was not significantly different for helmeted loggers (9.6 vs 5.4 days, P = 0.499). Mean length of stay was 8.2 days and 3.5 days for professionals and nonprofessionals, respectively (P = 0.01). Professional loggers tended to remain hospitalized longer. Helmet use does not appear to affect injury severity; however, this could be a result of the catastrophic nature of many logging accidents. Most loggers in this study were not wearing helmets, which suggests that improved educational efforts are needed to improve safety in this dangerous occupation.


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