Repetitive tasks in the workplace are one cause of injury.
Dr Libermann and his colleagues from Canada identified injuries specific to physicians routinely performing colonoscopy, and to identify prevention strategies.
The team sent a survey to all 2173 worldwide members of the American Society for Colon and Rectal Surgery.
The members were asked to investigate injuries or disabilities that resulted from performing colonoscopy.
The survey included questions about the methods used to prevent and alleviate symptoms related to the procedure.
The research team had a response rate of 28%.
At least 1 injury or pain believed to result from performing colonoscopy was reported by 39% of the respondents.
|Minimizing torque on the colonoscope reduced injury|
The team found that the most frequently reported injuries were to hands and fingers, neck, and back.
The methods adopted to alleviate injury included changing the height of the stretcher or video monitor.
The researchers noted that other methods of injury alleviation were changing from a standing to a sitting position, and minimizing torque on the colonoscope.
In addition, the team identified that having an assistant perform the torque maneuver, and resting or taking time off from colonoscopy alleviated injury.
The researchers reported that 2 respondents also created devices to make the instrument more ergonomic.
Dr Libermann's team commented, “The number of colorectal surgeons encountering injury from colonoscopy highlights the need for preventive strategies.”
”The study results suggest that it may be necessary to improve the design of colonoscopes to make them more ergonomic.”
”Appropriate positioning of the endoscopist, patient, and monitors may diminish some of the injuries encountered.”