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U.S. Nail-Gun Injuries Have Doubled Since Early 1990s

Buyers of new nail guns urged to make sure they have sequential-trigger trip safety feature

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Nail-gun injuries treated at U.S. emergency departments have increased more than 200 percent since 1991, and tripled among people using them outside of work, according to a report in the April 13 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues analyzed data from early 2001 through 2005 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and the NEISS occupational injury supplement (NEISS-Work).

About 37,000 patients a year had emergency treatment for nail-gun injuries during the five-year period. Consumers sustained 40 percent of injuries (14,800), with three times more injuries in 2005 than in 1991. Three-quarters of consumer injuries and 66 percent of worker injuries affected upper extremities; 17 percent of consumer injuries and 24 percent of worker injuries involved lower extremities. Other injuries affected the eyes, teeth, bones and musculoskeletal system. Men sustained more than 95 percent of the injuries.

"Consumers might be unaware of the need to replace older contact-trip triggers with sequential-trip triggers," the authors wrote. "Therefore, distribution of new nail guns with sequential-trip triggers and availability in home hardware centers of kits to convert contact-trip triggers to sequential-trip triggers might help reduce the use of the more hazardous tools."

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