Evaluation of risk and protective factors for work-related bite injuries to veterinary technicians certified in Minnesota

Leslie D. Nordgren, Susan G Gerberich, Bruce H Alexander, Timothy R Church, Jeff B Bender, Andrew Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective-To identify risk and protective factors for work-related bite injuries among veterinary technicians certified in Minnesota. Design-Nested case-control study. Sample-868 certified veterinary technicians (CVTs). Procedures-A questionnaire was mailed to CVTs who previously participated in a survey regarding work-related injuries and did (cases; 301 surveys sent) or did not (controls; 567) report qualifying work-related animal bite injuries in the preceding 12 months. Descriptive statistics were summarized. Demographic and work-related variables for the month preceding the bite injury (for cases) or a randomly selected month (controls) were assessed with univariate analysis (489 CVTs) and multivariate analysis of a subset of 337 CVTs who worked in small or mixed mostly small animal facilities. Results-Responses were received from 176 case and 313 control CVTs. For the subset of 337 CVTs, risk of bite injury was higher for those < 25 years of age (OR, 3.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.84 to 7.94) than for those ≥ 35 years of age, for those who had worked < 5 years (OR, 3.24; 95% CI, 1.63 to 6.45) versus ≥10 years in any veterinary facility, and for those who handled ≥ 5 species/d (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.06 to 3.74) versus < 3 species/d. Risk was lower for CVTs who handled < 10 versus ≥20 animals/d (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.71). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Several work-related factors were associated with the risk of work-related bite injury to CVTs. These findings may serve as a basis for development of intervention efforts and future research regarding work-related injuries among veterinary staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014


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