Economic consequences of accidents to hands and forearms by log splitters and circular saws: Cost of illness study

Martin Eriksson, Johan Karlsson, Katarina Steen Carlsson, Lars Dahlin, HansE Rosberg

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We estimated costs associated with injuries to hands from log splitters and circular saws used to cut up firewood and assessed the value of prevention. The study was carried out as a cost of illness study with an incidence approach based on 57 consecutive patients (median age 51; range 8--81) with injuries to the hand or forearm. Twenty-six of the 57 had an amputation which required microsurgery and 31/57 had various injuries. Median Hand Injury Severity Score (HISS) reflecting the severity of all injuries was 67 (range 6--332). Median DASH score after 2--7 years was 12.5 (0--73.3). Total cost (direct costs, costs of lost productivity, and lost quality of life) was estimated to roughly EUR 14 million (EUR 2.8 million/year), where the cost of lost quality of life is 82% of the total cost and loss of productivity and direct costs are 9% each. Injuries sustained from log splitters and circular saws account for considerable costs, but first and foremost human suffering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
JournalScandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Lund University Centre for Health Economics (LUCHE) (016630120), The Vårdal Institute (016540000), Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910), Reconstructive Surgery (013240300)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery


  • Hand injury
  • cost of illness
  • log splitter
  • circular saw
  • DASH


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