Background: While treating an unusual amputation caused by a meat band saw in a 35-year-old butcher, we sought information from the medical literature that would be useful to other physicians who might encounter similar occupational injuries. Methods: Using the Medline database and relevant search terms, we reviewed the literature concerning occupational saw blade injuries and porcine microbiology as they related to this injury. Results: Among meat workers using powered cutting equipment, hand injuries and distal fingertip amputations appear to be common. The greatest risk for a wound infection after open exposure to raw pork meat appears primarily related to environmental flora rather than enteric-borne porcine pathogens. Conclusions: Decision-making strategy when formulating a treatment plan for debridement or reconstruction of saw blade amputations should rely on a detailed understanding of the injury and occupational environment to achieve an optimal patient outcome. When considering operative and antibiotic treatment for porcine meat-related amputation injury, surgeons should adhere to open fracture-related guidelines, since porcine-borne illnesses are most often caused by ingestion rather than transcutaneous inoculation.
- Band saw
- Occupational accident
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health