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Medical Emergencies in Farmers.

  • Reece, Sharon C M1, 2, 3
  • Thiruchelvam, Deva3, 4
  • Redelmeier, Donald A3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • 1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 5 Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 6 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 7 Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , (Canada)
Published Article
The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2019
DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12336
PMID: 30444934


Agricultural work involves hazards that may harm long-term well-being. We evaluated the risk of long-term disability and death for agricultural workers compared to construction workers with similar demographics. We hypothesized that delays to emergency care and subsequent long-term disability following injury might be worse for agricultural workers compared to those injured in construction. We evaluated all adults severely injured on farms or on construction sites in Ontario, Canada, between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2012, according to the Ontario Trauma Registry. We excluded individuals living outside of the province, those missing a valid health card number, or youth less than 17 years old. Our primary outcome was death or the subsequent application for disability support. In total, 353 patients were injured on a farm or construction site during the study period. Delays to emergency care exceeding 12 hours were more frequent for agricultural workers compared to construction workers (43% vs 23%, P <.001). After a 5-year follow-up, agricultural workers had a death or disability rate marginally higher than construction workers (23% vs 14%, P = .068), equivalent to a hazard ratio of 1.62 that was marginally statistically significant (95% confidence interval 0.96-2.75, P = .072). The risk of death and disability was greatest for patients who had the longest delays to emergency care. Agricultural workers experience a substantial delay in receiving emergency care and a marginally higher risk of death or disability in the years following injury compared to construction workers. © 2018 National Rural Health Association.

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