NEWSWATCH
OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE
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NIOSH’s “Workplace Medical Mystery” Blog Series Continues
In March 2015, NIOSH launched the “Workplace Medical Mystery Series” on its Science Blog, which features posts from NIOSH researchers on a variety of workplace safety and health topics. Each installment of the series presents a new story about a worker who becomes sick or injured on the job, and invites readers to share ideas about what could be causing the symptoms described in the post. A few days after each installment, NIOSH publishes a new post that “solves” the workplace medical mystery and explains what the characters in each story are suffering from. One of the latest installments in the series focuses on a fire training officer who, after conducting a training exercise, begins to experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and a cough producing a small amount of blood. An X-ray at the emergency room reveals small spots in his lungs. The blog post outlines the worker’s background and describes the training exercise, which involves the use of a smoke simulant, a fog machine, and propane-generated heat and fire. Commenters joined the conversation on NIOSH’s Science Blog to share their thoughts on the cause the fire training officer’s symptoms. Past Workplace Medical Mystery posts have focused on blurry vision affecting a print press operator, a drum maker who develops a suspicious rash, and a golf course worker who contracts an influenza-like illness. View all posts in the Workplace Medical Mystery Series on NIOSH’s Science Blog.
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