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Major study on fireworks injuries

Hospitals in southwestern Netherlands are going to adopt a clear system to record not only injuries but also the long-term effects of fireworks injuries. This information can underpin the debate on consumer fireworks.

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Several medical associations have recorded different kinds of fireworks injuries over the past years, but details on the severity of the injuries, the treatment, and the associated medical and social costs remained unknown.

Health damages
Researchers from Erasmus MC's Trauma department, Maasstad Hospital burns unit, and Rotterdam Eye Hospital  will now conduct an extensive and comprehensive study on the health damage caused by consumer fireworks.
Detailed and objective information on fireworks injuries and treatment given will be recorded for all fireworks victims that are treated in one of the twelve hospitals in the southwestern region of the Netherlands between 1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018. In addition, the degree of permanent disability, the costs of the treatment, and absenteeism will be recorded. Victims will be monitored for a longer period so as to obtain a reliable estimate of the actual costs.

Far-reaching consequences
The Dutch Safety Board estimates that about 480 people are injured, with damage to an average of  200 eyes. In about half of these cases the victim was a bystander. Injuries range from minor burns to severe and lasting damage to eyes, face, hands, or hearing. People can even lose eyes or hands. In addition to the far-reaching consequences for the victims, the additional costs of fireworks incidents are high: apart from the direct costs of the treatment and rehabilitation, the costs associated with absenteeism can also be very high.

The researchers aim to produce objective, quantitative data that gives a reliable and complete picture of the extent of health damage caused by consumer fireworks. This information can underpin the public debate in the Netherlands on consumer fireworks.
 
Also see the press release.

Date published: 18 December 2017.

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