To describe the risk factors and identify efficient diagnostic strategies for occupational diseases.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome, occupational cancer and TB
Workers who use vibrating hand tools such as chainsaws, impact tools or jackhammers on a regular basis can damage the blood vessels and nerves of their hands. This is know as hand-arm vibration syndrome or HAVS.
I am interested in developing a simple objective test that can help doctors diagnose the problem and determine the degree of damage caused to the blood vessels of workers with HAVS.
The test utilizes infrared thermography which is basically a thermometer that uses infrared light to measure finger temperature. Finger temperature is directly related to blood flow in the fingers and blood flow is dependent on the integrity of the small blood vessels of the fingers. If the hands of a worker with HAVS are cooled temporarily they do not rewarm as quickly as the hands of an unaffected individual and the infrared thermometer helps to measure this deficienty.
1. Youakim, S. Infrared thermometry in the diagnosis of hand-arm vibration syndrome. Occ Med 2010; 60:225-230.
2. Youakim, S. The validity of Raynaud’s phenomenon symptoms in HAVS cases. Occ Med 2008; 58: 431-435.
3. Youakim S. Adverse reactions associated with respirator fit testing of healthcare workers in British Columbia, Canada: A review of compensation claim cases. Arch Environ Occup Health 2007; 62(4): 197-200
4. Youakim S. Risk of cancer among firefighters: A quantitative review of selected malignancies. Arch Envir Occup Health 2006; 61(5): 223-231