Mechanisms Agents Types of Trauma

The mechanisms of trauma, or the way that the person is injured, vary from country to country based upon the type of crops grown and the methods used to grow them. For example, in California falling ladders are a risk to people harvesting oranges, yet in the Pacific Islands, falling coconuts are a hazard to people harvesting the product. The resulting injury may be the same in both cultures. Table 25.5 compares the major mechanisms of injury in agriculture, the typical agents where the mechanisms occur, and the typical resulting injuries.

Table 25.5. Mechanisms and agents of injuries, with examples of associated injuries.

Mechanism

Agent

Injury examples

Fall from a height

Farm animals

Fractures

Overexertion

Lifting boxes

Lumbar strain

Repetitive motion

Sorting fruit

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Sprains and strains

Jumping from a tractor

Sprained ankle

Lacerations

Pruning knives

Lacerated hand

Scalp avulsions

Long hair caught in machinery

Partial or complete scalp

laceration

Engulfment

Falling into grain elevators or

Asphyxiation

manure pits

Rollovers

Tractors and self propelled machines

Head injuries

Spinal injuries

Multiple trauma

Collisions

Vehicles

Head injuries

Spinal injuries

Multiple trauma

Blasts

Explosion of pressurized tanks

Multiple trauma

Amputations

Burns

Combustibles such as gasoline

Burns

Shrapnel

Exploding fuel tanks

Lacerations

Multiple organ trauma

War

Combat "collateral" injuries

Amputations

Unexploded ordnance

Multiple trauma

Land mines

Lacerations

Burns

Falling objects

Trees

Head and spinal trauma

Coconuts

Ladders

Penetration

Animal horns

Pneumothorax

Abdominal trauma

Tree branches

Eye injuries

Auger injuries

Augers for transporting grain or

Amputations of hands

crushing wine grapes

Source: Data from Centers for Disease Control (23), Pros and Vrtiskova (24), Karaman et al. (25), Alexe et al. (26), Kirkhorn and Schenker (27), and Stiernstrom et al. (28).

Source: Data from Centers for Disease Control (23), Pros and Vrtiskova (24), Karaman et al. (25), Alexe et al. (26), Kirkhorn and Schenker (27), and Stiernstrom et al. (28).

Mechanized countries may have more injuries from limb entrapments in machines, while countries dependent upon animals will have more injuries from animals, such as stomping and kicking injuries or injuries from falls. The nature and extent of injuries are complicated by the pre-injury health and age of the worker, pregnancy, the potential for secondary gain through litigation, and whether personal protective equipment was used (see Chapter 6) (23-28).

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