OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE
OEDEMA
O
with asbestos in industry. Allergic
alve-
olitis
is caused by organic dusts (see
farmer's
lung).
Industrial chemicals can damage the
lungs if inhaled, or other major organs if
they enter the bloodstream via the lungs
or skin. Examples include fumes of cad-
mium, beryllium, lead, and benzene.
Carbon tetrachloride and vinyl chloride
are causes of liver disease. Many of these
compounds can cause kidney damage.
Work-related
skin
disorders
include
contact
dermatitis
and
squamous cell car-
cinoma.
Rare infectious diseases that are
more common in certain jobs include
brucellosis
and
Q fever
(from livestock),
psittacosis
(from birds), and
leptospirosis
(from sewage). People who work with
blood or blood products are at increased
risk of viral hepatitis (see
hepatitis, viral)
and
AIDS,
as are healthcare profession-
als. The nuclear industry and some
healthcare professions use measures to
reduce the danger from
radiation hazards.
Other occupational disorders include
writer's cramp, carpal tunnel syndrome,
singer's nodes, Raynaud's phenomenon,
deafness
, and
cataracts
.
occupational medicine
A branch of
medicine dealing with the effects of var-
ious occupations on health, and with an
individual's capacity for particular types
of work. It includes prevention of
occu-
pational disease and injury
and the
promotion of health in the working popu-
lation.
Epidemiology
is used to analyse
patterns of sickness absence, injury, ill-
ness, and death. Clinical techniques are
used to monitor the health of a particular
workforce. Assessment of psychological
stress and hazards of new technology
are part of the remit. Occupational
health risks are reduced by dust control,
appropriate waste disposal, use of safe
work stations and practices, limiting
exposure to harmful substances, and
screening for early evidence of occupa-
tional disorders.
occupational mortality
Death due to
work-related disease or injuries. Annual
death rates (deaths per million at risk)
vary widely between occupations, rang-
ing from 5 in UK clothing and footwear
manufacture to about 1,650 in offshore
oil and gas industries. More than 1,000
per year are due to work-related diseases,
mainly
pneumoconiosis
and cancers.
occupational therapy
Treatment com-
prising individually tailored programmes
of activities that help people who have
been disabled by illness or accident to
improve their function and ability to carry
out everyday tasks. Occupational ther-
apy also involves recommending aids
and changes to the home that help to
increase the person's independence.
octreotide
A
somatostatin analogue
, a
hormone that acts on the
pituitary
gland.
Given by injection, octreotide is
used mainly in the treatment of
acro-
m egaly
and hormone-secreting intestinal
tumours. Octreotide is also used to pre-
vent complications following pancreatic
surgery. Side effects may include vari-
ous gastrointestinal disturbances such
as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
and bloating, flatulence, and diarrhoea.
ocular
Relating to or affecting the
eye
and its structures; also the eyepiece of
an optical device, such as a
microscope.
oculogyric crisis
A state of gaze in
which the eyes are fixed, usually up-
wards, for minutes or hours. The crisis
may be associated with muscle spasm
of the tongue, mouth, and neck, and is
often triggered by stress. It may also
occur following
encephalitis
and in
par-
kinsonism,
or may be induced by drugs,
such as
phenothiazine
derivatives.
oculomotor nerve
The 3rd
cranial nerve,
controlling most of the muscles that
move the eye. The oculomotor nerve also
supplies the muscle that constricts the
pupil, that which raises the upper eyelid,
and the ciliary muscle, which focuses
the eye. The nerve may be damaged due
to a fracture to the base of the skull or a
tumour. Symptoms include
ptosis
,
squint
,
dilation of the pupil, inability to focus
the eye, double vision, and slight protru-
sion of the eyeball. (See also
trochlear
nerve; abducent nerve.)
oedema
Abnormal fluid accumulation
in body tissues that may be localized
(as in swelling from an injury) or gener-
alized (as in
heart failure
). Symptoms of
generalized oedema, such as swelling
around the base of the spine and in the
ankles, occur when excess body fluid
increases by more than 15 per cent. In
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