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OMC in Preston sees farm-related injury and illness

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in All Features

Jodi Bergey (left) and Polly Harstad are nurses at the Olmsted Medical Center in Preston.

Living and working on a farm can be very dangerous, and it’s important to know exactly what you are doing and use the proper precautions to prevent injury. But accidents do happen, and when they do, it’s good to know what to do and where to go.

The Olmsted Medical Clinic in Preston has seen its share of injuries related to farm tools and equipment. But the most obvious reasons to go to see a doctor are not the only reasons people go there. Registered Nurse Jodi Bergey said there are sometimes injuries or illness related to working with livestock. They have seen people who have been kicked by cows, thrown off a horse, or who have contracted disease such as ringworm from the animals. There are also dangers to working outdoors; they have also seen cases of frostbite during the winter months.

“We also get questions about pesticide or chemical exposure,” shared Bergey. “But the big things are injuries related to tools and equipment.”

OMC can only handle a certain amount of injuries. They can take x-rays and they can do sutures and casting, but anything more extensive requires a trip to a larger hospital. Many people still go to their local clinic because it’s a familiar place, a small place that they are comfortable with.

Farm injuries happen to all age groups, from children to older adults. Bergey stressed the importance of learning how to be safe on the farm. “They should make sure the take the farm safety course, which many of the schools do now,” she said. “And even if they are just jumping on the four-wheeler to check the cattle, we certainly promote wearing helmets.”

Farm equipment has more safety features than ever before, but it’s important people know how to use them, and use them when they are available. Taking a short amount of time to learn how to properly use equipment can potentially save a life or prevent a major life-changing injury.

“It’s important people wear boots, use gloves, goggles and masks if they need to,” said Bergey.

In cases of emergencies, or whenever in doubt, it’s best to head to a larger hospital or dial 911 for an ambulance.

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