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April/May 2014 (vol. 10/6)

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Hand–arm vibration syndrome, Part 1

Part 1: introduction, exposure and risk assessment

Summary:

HAND–ARM vibration syndrome (HAVS) is the term used to collectively describe the effects of hand-transmitted vibration on the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and other tissues in the upper limb. Although the name includes reference to the arm, effects are concentrated in the fingers and thumbs. Individuals with the condition typically suffer from sensory symptoms of tingling and numbness, vascular symptoms of increased sensitivity to cold, manifest by the characteristic changes of Raynaud’s phenomenon, and a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Most of the symptoms of HAVS can also occur in other conditions so the real clinical challenge is to ensure the correct diagnosis, which therefore enables appropriate workplace management as part of the correct treatment.

Author: Roger Cooke

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Occupational Health at Work April/May 2014 (vol. 10/6) pp11-14

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