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[Firework injuries in the south-western region of the Netherlands around the turn of the year 2017-2018].

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2018, vol. 162, issue

OBJECTIVE

To report the number of patients with firework-related injuries treated in December 2017 and January 2018 in a hospital in the south-west Netherlands trauma region, and to provide details about the types of firework used and the specific injuries.

DESIGN

A prospective multicentre cohort study (NTR6793).

METHODS

Patients of all ages with firework-related injuries were eligible for inclusion. The injury had to have been sustained between 1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018, and treated at a hospital in the south-west Netherlands trauma region (approximately 2.5 million inhabitants). Data were extracted from patients' medical files and additional information was obtained from patient interviews.

RESULTS

Fifty-four patients were included. The majority were male (93%) and the median age was 15 years. Twenty-five (46%) patients were bystanders and 12 (22%) were injured by illegal fireworks. Fifty patients were injured by bangers (n=22) or decorative fireworks (n=28). The patients had a total of 79 injuries, of which 29 (37%) were localised to the upper extremity and 19 (24%) to the eyes. Most upper extremity injuries were burns (69%), primarily partial thickness. Of the eye injuries, 14 were caused by blunt trauma, seven by chemical trauma, and one by penetrating trauma. Three patients sustained indirect firework-related injuries.

CONCLUSION

Between 1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018 in the south-west Netherlands trauma region mainly teenage males and bystanders sustained firework-related injuries. Most injuries were upper extremity burns and eye injuries, mainly due to legal fireworks and bangers or decorative fireworks. The extent of the sample indicates that the study findings can be extrapolated to the rest of the Netherlands.

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