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Firework-Related ED Visits Peak Around Independence Day

Firecrackers, bottle rockets cause most injuries

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Most emergency department admissions for firework-related injuries occur near Independence Day and New Year’s Day, involve men and people younger than 18, and are caused by firecrackers and bottle rockets, according to a study published online April 9 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Eric J. Shiuey, from the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to measure the prevalence of firework-related ocular injury between 1999 and 2017 in more than 100 hospital-affiliated emergency departments in the United States.

The researchers found that of the 34,548 injuries included in the analysis, 65.9, 71.9, and 50.8 percent affected patients who were 18 years or younger, male, and white, respectively. Most injuries occurred around Independence Day and New Year’s Day: 70.2 percent of cases occurred in July and 10 percent of cases occurred in January. The majority of patients (62.9 percent) sustained ocular burn injuries, and 8.7 percent of all patients required admission or transfer to another hospital. Firecrackers and bottle rockets were the most common firework type (specified in 19.2 and 17.6 percent of cases, respectively), but bottle rockets caused the most severe injuries, including ruptured globe (odds ratio, 5.82). Other injuries were caused by sparklers, roman candles, and novelty devices such as poppers and snappers.

“Focused preventive methods and regulations may be imperative in decreasing fireworks-related ocular morbidity, namely from bottle rockets and especially near national holidays,” the authors write.

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