Occupational Diseases and Accidents in Family Practice

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0127-0131

german translation / full article

Marlies Karsch-Völk

Keywords: accident insurance commuting accident family medicine needlestick injury occupational accident occupational disease

BackgroundOccupational diseases and accidents are fairly common in family practice. Needlestick injuries are relatively frequent occupational accidents that can occur in a surgery as a worksite. There is often uncertainty about correct proceeding in these cases.Search methodThis text is based on the articles „Occupational diseases and accidents “and „Needlestick injuries“ in Deximed (www.deximed.de), an online handbook for FPs. For these articles a selective literature research (PubMed, www.rki.de and www.awmf.org) was conducted in order to find relevant information by the German Social Accident Assurance (DGUV) and the Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Medicine (BAUA), and further publications and statistics.Main messagesAll doctors are obliged to report any suspicion of occupational disease to the Accident Insurance. The BAUA’s website provides a list of potential occupational diseases. Especially conditions of the musculoskeletal system are often connected with occupational exposure. But numerous other chronic conditions should also be linked with the possibility of an occupational disease. Patients with minor injuries after an occupational or commuting accident quite often attend a family practice. If longer lasting medical treatment is necessary, an accident insurance doctor should be seen. In case of a needlestick injury of a FP staff member, serological tests for relevant infections in the injured person and the index patient, and a report to the Accident Insurance should always be sent.ConclusionsIt is essential to keep occupational diseases in mind and to voice any suspicion. Minor occupational injuries can be treated in family practice, but have to be reported to the Accident Insurance. Every needlestick injury with a potentially contagious needle should be treated as an occupational accident.Keywordsoccupational accident; commuting accident; occupational disease; needlestick injury; accident insurance; family medicine

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