The Alaska Trauma Registry, a registry of all people seriously traumatized and either required hospitalization, transfer to a higher care level, or died in the emergency room, was discussed. Two categories included were people injured due to hypothermia, and drownings/near drownings. Data on fishing related injuries in the period March 1988 through February 1992 were analyzed. Results showed that 272 injuries out of 367 occurred on a ship, with 79% of them being on floating vessels, the rest being on shore based vessels. Of the injuries, 62% were in the Aleutian Pribilofs. However, 62% of the injured people were nonresidents (some were foreign national, but most were from the Northwestern United States). Mechanisms of injury were machine related (38%), falls (20%), cuts (5%), and others such as being struck by a wave or crab pot, entanglements, and altercations (37%). The largest number were extremity injuries (63% limb, 20% head and neck, and 14% trunk injuries). Permanent disabilities amounted to 14%, and the balance 86% were discharged, but may have had some short term disability. Workers compensation sources were private insurance (37%), Fishermen's Fund (30%), Indian Health Service (10%), self pay (7%), and other sources (15%). The author concludes with the hope that more information will be collected in the future, and that the Alaska Trauma Registry will serve as a tool towards making the fishing industry a safer occupation.
Proceedings of the National Fishing Industry Safety and Health Workshop, Anchorage, Alaska, October 9-11, 1992