PURPOSE: There has been a significant amount of attention paid to ergonomics and over use injury in a medical setting, mainly in the field of gastroenterology and surgery. At this point there is very little data on the prevalence of similar injuries to those performing bronchoscopy.
METHODS: An online survey was sent via email to pulmonologists selected from a pre-existing database. A second email was sent one week later as a reminder to complete the survey. The surveys were sent out over a three month period in 2011.
RESULTS: Of the 823 emails sent we received 132 responses for a response rate of approximately 16 percent. Of those 132 respondents, 50 (39.1%) reported experiencing pain while operating a bronchoscope. Most people (76%) stated that the pain occurred once, or only a few times, while 22% had pain occurring chronically. The most common locations for pain were the shoulder (42%), back (40%), wrist (38%), neck (26%), and thumb (26%). However, most respondents (80%) sought no treatment, and only 38% have attempted to modify their workspace. We also looked at variables and their association with over-use injury. According to our study, women have a relative risk of pain equal to 2.08 (95% CI 1.076 - 4.021, p-value = 0.031 ) compared with men. Also, those shorter in height, less than 5’7” have a relative risk of pain equal to 2.129 (95 % CI 1.289 - 3.518, p-value = 0.0023) compared with taller individuals.
CONCLUSIONS: : A considerable number of pulmonologists who perform bronchoscopy are experiencing pain during the procedure. There appears to be an association with over-use injury and height.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Only few pulmonologists modify their workspace, and even less seeks treatment. With advances in field of interventional pulmonary, more number of procedures are performed than before. Measures for prevention of musculoskeletal injuries for bronchoscopists may be necessary.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Navdeep Brar, Jesse Miller, Veronica Brito, Jonathan Ilowite, Shalinee Chawla
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