Significant increase in DIY and gardening mishaps involving tools, knives, slips and falls as a result of Covid-19 Lockdown – Affidea ExpressCare

  • Finger and hand injuries involving hammers, nails, saws and chisels among most seen ailments in current circumstances

There has been a significant increase in the number of DIY related accidents as a result of the Covid-19 guidelines asking people to stay-at-home, according to Affidea, the healthcare business that operates ExpressCare Clinics nationwide.

More patients are presenting with injuries from a range of DIY accidents such as lacerations from knives and tools, as well as DIY related slips and falls.

Dermot McMahon, Clinic Manager at Affidea ExpressCare Clinic in Tallaght says: “While most cuts and lacerations are rarely life threatening, if left untreated, the wound can become infected and can take a long time to heal. That’s why it’s essential to treat any cuts or lacerations as soon as possible in order to prevent future complications. Similarly, accidents resulting from slips and falls can develop into a much greater issue if left untreated.

With people now having more time at home, it’s essential that any jobs are carried out safely to minimise risk or serious injury. We urge anyone who has had an accident, to visit one of our ExpressCare Clinics for fast and effective care.”

Affidea operates a number of ExpressCare clinics nationwide which are ‘walk in’ facilities that treat minor injuries and illnesses that don’t require a hospital visit. Three of their clinics – Tallaght, Northwood (Dublin) and Cork – are fully operational during the Covid-19 crisis. Fast turnaround times without an appointment, ExpressCare Clinics treat minor injuries and illnesses such as fractures and sprains, lacerations requiring stitches, sports and DIY injuries, minor burns and scalds, eye and ear injuries, insect and animal bites, infections and rashes. Children over the age of one are also treated, eliminating the need for a stressful visit to a hospital A&E department with an injured child.

Here are some common injuries caused by DIY or gardening mishaps and how you can prevent them:

  • Finger and Hand Injuries

Hammers, nails, saws and chisels are all tools that can inflict a lot of accidental damage on unsuspecting hands. Anyone who has been unfortunate to suffer a hand injury will be aware just how debilitating it can be and how all activities of daily living can be compromised. The function of our hands is paramount and even trivial appearing accidents can cause long-term loss of dexterity.

Whilst prevention has a role to play and work-place education is important, the early diagnosis and appropriate management of hand injuries will reduce loss of function and therefore speed effective return to work.

  • Electrocution

Electrocution can cause a spectrum of injuries ranging from mild local burns to cardiac arrest and death. The extent of the damage depends on whether the supply was domestic or industrial and the duration of exposure. Again, education in the workplace and home is key to the prevention of these events.

  • Head Injuries

Falls from heights and injuries from falling objects can all contribute to head injuries. Whilst helmets can be life-saving head injuries still cause a significant amount of illness and death every year.

Loss of consciousness, a serious mechanism, vomiting, amnesia and decreased level of consciousness are all factors that can increase the risk in those who have suffered a head injury.

  • Lower Back Pain

Lifting heavy objects or working in cramped awkward conditions can put undue or unusual strain on the lumbar spine. This can result in localise back pain or sciatica. Over 80% of back pains will resolve in 6-8 weeks and the pain can be modified with medication in the short-term. People who have occupational exposure to manual labour should take extra care and become “back aware”.

Prevention is far easier than treatment with back pain so time spent strengthening your body’s core and maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the frequency of flare-ups and consequently time-off work.

  • Specific occupational hazards

Hazards such as eye damage from steel chips or bright light can be prevented by good eyewear. Similarly elbow and kneepads can help reduce the possibility of bursitis, a painful swelling over these joints that often afflicts plumbers and joiners’ injuries who put undue pressure on these areas when working.

The theme of prevention runs through all DIY injuries as there is a certain predictability to the nature and repetition of these accidents. Loss of function and time-off work make quick diagnosis and expert treatment is the basis of minor injury management.

As well as operating the ExpressCare Clinics, Affidea also has ten state-of-the-art diagnostic centres and two managed hospital services across the country that provide MRI, CT, Ultrasound, X-Ray and DEXA scan facilities*. This offers patients unrivalled access to advanced diagnostic imaging which has previously been an issue in Irish healthcare.

Affidea operates the youngest and most modern fleet of MRI facilities within the Dublin region with an average age of less than three years, enabling it to provide high end diagnostic imaging in modern, comfortable settings.

Affidea Ireland, which was established here in 2007, is part of the European Group, Affidea, which has 280 advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient and cancer care centres across 16 countries. Focused on providing high quality affordable care, the company sees over 7 million patients per year, performs over 14 million examinations annually and works with over 9,400 professionals, of which 3000 are medical doctors.

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