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Fireworks injuries treated by Dutch ophthalmologists New Year 2008/'09

Fireworks injuries treated by Dutch ophthalmologists New Year 2008/'09

Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 153: A507

To list and describe eye injuries caused by consumer fireworks around New Year 2008/'09. Descriptive study. All members of the Netherlands Society of Ophthalmology (NOG) were called upon by the board to register all the firework-related eye injuries they treated between 27 December 2008 and 4 January 2009. As well as several details about the patient, type of firework, nature of the accident, type and severity of injury, and treatment were registered. In total, 95% of ophthalmologists on duty at the turn of the year sent in registration forms. They treated and registered a total of 268 patients with 315 eye injuries caused by fireworks. 56 % of patients were bystanders. Most victims were male. 59% (n = 158) of patients were minors (3-17 years); the majority were 10-15-year-old boys. One third of the eyes (n = 99) sustained permanent damage. In 47 eyes the extent of the damage was such that it led to irreversible loss of vision, and in 24 eyes to complete loss of vision. 15 of these 24 eyes were surgically removed. 'Bangers' caused most injuries, but rockets caused the most serious injuries. On medical grounds the NOG believes that the current policy of tolerance regarding fireworks makes the risk of eye injuries to which the Dutch population is exposed, too high. As long as consumer fireworks are allowed, the NOG advises that protective polycarbonate glasses be worn while lighting and watching of fire-works.

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Accession: 053247386

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PMID: 20051178

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