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Orange Regional Reminds the Community to be Safe, Avoid Hand Injuries this Spring

June 17, 2014

Middletown, NY – Orange Regional Medical Center is reminding local residents to be safe and avoid dangerous hand injuries that may result in an emergency department visit. Every year, Orange Regional sees a rise in hand injury as the weather warms up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 1.8 million visits to the emergency department each year due to hand injuries nationwide. In fact, about 10 percent of all ED visits are due to hand-related injuries, including lacerations, contusions, broken bones and infections. Many of these injuries are due to home improvement activities like sawing, hammering, welding, woodworking and the use of power tools such as drills and handsaws.

To help avoid these complications, Dr. Samir Sodha, a Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon at Orange Regional, recommends a number of safety tips:

  • First, users should never disable safety features on their power tools in the name of efficiency, as it’s easier than many people think to slip and seriously hurt themselves.
  • Secondly, individuals should be extra careful when holding wood or other materials in place while another person drills or saws, as this is another common scenario in which hand injuries take place.
  • Finally, those engaged in home improvement projects should not work while tired or under the influence of alcohol, which can make it much easier to lose focus and cause a trip to the hospital.

“In the spring, we see a lot of people get outdoors to tackle home improvement projects or simply get out to enjoy the nicer weather,” said Dr. Sodha. “However, we also see more people coming to Orange Regional with serious hand injuries, which in most cases are preventable by using some standard safety precautions. If you do experience a hand injury, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think it’s relatively minor. Receiving treatment right away can help prevent long-term nerve or muscle damage.”

Orange Regional Medical Center Medical Director of the Emergency Department, Dr. Anuj Vhora added “we now have a children’s emergency department and our hand specialists are also able to care for kids.”

Dr. Sodha is one of the region’s leading orthopedic surgeons specializing in hand and upper extremity injuries. He completed his fellowship in hand, elbow and microvascular surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He has more than a decade of experience and regularly treats injuries to the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Dr. Sodha received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Orange Regional Medical Center, located at 707 East Main Street, in Middletown, will host a free seminar on Common Hand Problems on July 24 at 6 p.m. in its conference center. For more information or to register, please visit www.ormc.org/communityoutreach or call The Orange Regional Health Connection at 1-888-321-ORMC (6762).

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