Carpal tunnel syndrome screening in a workplace
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Objective: The aim of this study is to identify frequency of hand discomfort and probable carpal tunnel syndrome cases in order to create awareness among workers, also at trade union level. Methods: A screening program for carpal tunnel syndrome was carried out at a medium-size workplace in the Industiral area of Umraniye Istanbul, from March to May in 1997. Two hundred and thirty-nine workers at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome due to the nature of their occupation were screened using standardized physical examination, a hand pain diagram and a questionnaire. The response rate was 99.3%. Results: Eighty-six of the workers were found to have positive hand symptoms. The cases were mostly people with occupations such as sewing machine operators. Seventeen cases with high priority for carpal tunnel syndrome were reported to the physician of the workplace to be referred to the hospital for further evaluation. Conclusion: In order to observe to know the real dimensions of the problem, prevelance studies are necessary. Taking into account the working conditions and detected frequency of hand problems, an "ergonomic awareness program" could be introduced for employers, employees and trade union representatives at the Umraniye Organized Industry Area of Istanbul.