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• Webster B, Giunti G, Young A, Pransky G and Nesathurai S (2004). Work-related tetraplegia: cause of injury and annual medical costs. Spinal Cord. 42: 240-7. 1Liberty Mutual Center for Disability Research, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA, USA. STUDY DESIGN:: Descriptive study. OBJECTIVE:: To describe the demographics, cause of injury, and annual-paid medical costs for the 5 years following injury for cases of work-related tetraplegia. SETTING:: A single United States workers' compensation (WC) claims database. METHODS:: Tetraplegia cases with initial date of injury from 1 January 1989 to 31 December 1999 were selected by cross-referencing word search terms pertaining to body part injured and nature of injury. The main outcome measures were injury causes and annual-paid medical payments (adjusted to year 2000 medical consumer price index) of work-related tetraplegia by injury group for each year postinjury over a 5-year time period. RESULTS:: A total of 62 claimants with work-related tetraplegia injured between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 1999. The vast majority of those identified were male claimants (92%) and more than a quarter worked in the construction industry (26%). Other highly represented industries included transportation and retail (15% each), manufacturing (13%), and agriculture and utility (11% each). The majority of injuries were the result of falls (36%) and vehicular accidents (34%). The mean Year 1 cost was $560 524 for those with a high-level tetraplegia (C2-4 ASIA A-C), $431 033 for a low-level injury (C5-8 ASIA A-C), and $178 041 for those with an ASIA D tetraplegia injury. The mean cost of subsequent years (Years 2-5) was $130 992 for a high-level, $129 250 for a low-level, and $34 352 for an ASIA D tetraplegia injury. CONCLUSIONS:: Mean costs for Year 1 postinjury in WC cases are similar to previously published estimates. Comparing the current results with those of previous spinal cord injury cost studies suggests that those with work-related tetraplegia may receive more injury-related paid medical benefits after the first year postinjury than cases who do not receive WC-supported benefits. SPONSORSHIP:: Supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDDR) (Grant # H133N00024).Spinal Cord (2004) 42, 240-247. doi:10.1038/sj.sc.3101526.