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Sentinel health events (occupational): a basis for physician recognition and public health surveillance.
Rutstein DD; Mullan RJ; Frazier TM; Halperin WE; Melius JM; Sestito JP
Arch Environ Health 1984 May; 39(3):159-168
An effort to increase physician awareness of occupational disease is described. The lack of routine coding of industrial or occupational data on death certificates in a majority of states prevents analysis of effects of occupational exposure on a national scale. The Sentinel Health Events approach is used to identify occupational events considered a preventable disease, disability, or untimely death. It may signal the need for epidemiological studies or signal that controls or medical attention are warranted. Diseases are only included on the list if there is scientific documentation of an associated agent, of industry involvement, and occupational exposure. The list contains 50 disease conditions that are associated with workplace exposure. Two categories of disease are listed: diseases that are only likely to be caused by occupational exposure such as brucellosis and diseases that may or may not be related to occupation such as lung cancer. Diseases are arranged in order of ascending International Classification of Disease Codes. Some conditions listed include tularemia, hepatitis, malignant neoplasms of various organs and systems, cataracts, and allergic dermatitis. These codes can be placed on death certificates. The authors suggest that the list is a useful surveillance tool for the development of a national occupational disease data bank and may be used by physicians to diagnose disease.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-medicine; Industrial-medicine; Occupational-exposure; Work-environment; Biological-effects; Medical-monitoring; Diagnostic-techniques; Quantitative-analysis; Analytical-methods; Health-protection; Medical-research
Issue of Publication
Archives of Environmental Health
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division