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A correction factor for estimating statewide agricultural injuries from ambulance reports.
Scott-EE; Earle-Richardson-G; Krupa-N; Jenkins-P
Ann Epidemiol 2011 Oct; 21(10):767-772
PURPOSE: Agriculture ranks as one of the most hazardous industries in the nation. Agricultural injury surveillance is critical to identifying and reducing major injury hazards. Currently, there is no comprehensive system of identifying and characterizing fatal and serious non-fatal agricultural injuries. Researchers sought to calculate a multiplier for estimating the number of agricultural injury cases based on the number of times the farm box indicator was checked on the ambulance report. METHODS: Farm injuries from 2007 that used ambulance transport were ascertained for 10 New York counties using two methods: (1) ambulance reports including hand-entered free text; and (2) community surveillance. The resulting multiplier that was developed from contrasting these two methods was then applied to the statewide Emergency Medical Services database to estimate the total number of agricultural injuries for New York state. RESULTS: There were 25,735 unique ambulance runs due to injuries in the 10 counties in 2007. Among these, the farm box was checked a total of 90 times. Of these 90, 63 (70%) were determined to be agricultural. Among injury runs where the farm box was not checked, an additional 59 cases were identified from the free text. Among these 122 cases (63 + 59), four were duplicates. Twenty-four additional unique cases were identified from the community surveillance for a total of 142. This yielded a multiplier of 142/90 = 1.578 for estimating all agricultural injuries from the farm box indicator. Sensitivity and specificity of the ambulance report method were 53.4% and 99.9%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This method provides a cost-effective way to estimate the total number of agricultural injuries for the state. However, it would not eliminate the more labor intensive methods that are required to identify of the actual individual case records. Incorporating an independent source of case ascertainment (community surveillance) increased the multiplier by 17%.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Injuries; Surveillance-programs; Farmers; Emergency-equipment; Emergency-response; Transport-mechanisms; Hazards; Health-hazards; Data-processing; Information-retrieval-systems; Information-systems; Epidemiology
Erika E. Scott, MS, NYCAMH, NEC, One Atwell Rd, Cooperstown, NY 13326
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Annals of Epidemiology
Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, New York