In-hospital complications of work-related musculoskeletal injuries

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Background, Objectives: Work-related musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries are a major contributor to morbidity worldwide and frequently result in hospitalisation. Hospital complications are common, costly, and largely preventable, but relevant data is required to address this. This study aimed to identify the incidence and factors associated with in-hospital complications of work-related MSK injuries. Methods: This study is based on work-related MSK hospital admission data from Victorian Admitted Episodes Database, 2016–2022. Complications were identified based on ICD-10-AM coding using CHADx (Classification of Hospital Acquired Diagnoses). Negative binomial and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify factors related to in-hospital complications. Results: In-hospital complications occurred in 6.3 % of work-related MSK injury admissions. In the adjusted models, ages ≥45 years, female sex, and area-level disadvantage were associated with in-hospital complications. Stay at public (vs private) hospitals, comorbidity, emergency admissions, and general anaesthesia were also associated. Complication rates were higher in hospitalised workers with direct head, neck, and trunk injuries and cumulative MSK disorders than those with direct extremities injuries and acute MSK conditions. The most common complications were cardiovascular, gastrointestinal complications and adverse drug events. Conclusion: This study identified patient, injury and hospital-related characteristics associated with in-hospital complications of work-related MSK injuries for informing prevention strategies and risk estimation by hospital staff and workers' compensation schemes. The results demonstrate a sizable rate of complications given the relatively young and healthy study population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111211
Number of pages32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • In-hospital complications
  • Work-related musculoskeletal injuries

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