June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Epidemiology of firework-related ocular injuries
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Natasha V Nayak
    New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, New York, United States
  • Anton M Kolomeyer
    Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Natasha Nayak, None; Anton Kolomeyer, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 5952. doi:
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      Natasha V Nayak, Anton M Kolomeyer; Epidemiology of firework-related ocular injuries. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):5952.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To characterize firework-related ocular injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States (US) from 1999 to 2015.

Methods : The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a stratified probability sample of hospital-affiliated US emergency departments, was queried for firework-related ocular injury from 1999 to 2015. Data collected included age, sex, race, disposition, location and time of injury, injury description, and type of firework.

Results : A total of 929 injuries in the NEISS database represented an estimated 32,437 (± 764, 95% confidence interval) firework-related ocular injuries in US emergency departments from 1999 to 2015. Mean (± standard deviation) age of patients was 17.1 ± 13.2 years; 620 (67%) were 18 or younger. A majority (72%) of patients were male; 61% were Caucasian, 19% Black, 7% Hispanic. Twenty-six (2.7%) patients sustained a ruptured globe; 578 (62%) sustained ocular burn injuries; 97 (23%) had conjunctival irritation; 104 (11%) had ocular foreign bodies; 46 (4.9%) sustained other severe eye trauma; 36 (3.9%) had a hyphema; 19 (2.0%) sustained lacerations; 12 (1.2%) had subconjunctival hemorrhage. A majority (91%) of patients were treated and released without transfer; 4.5 % were treated and admitted within the same hospital; 4.5% required transfer to another hospital. Seventy-five percent of injuries occurred at home, whereas 14% occurred in a place of recreation/sports, 8% occurred in another public location, and 2% occurred on a street/highway. Injuries most commonly occurred around July 4th and New Years: 65% (n=606) of patients presented in July, 7% (n=67) in June, 10% (n=94) in January, and 5% (n=46) in December.

Conclusions : Firework-related ocular injuries range from mild irritation to ruptured globe. Those most frequently injured were young, male, Caucasian. Focused preventative methods and regulations including eye protection may be imperative in decreasing firework-related ocular morbidity. Special attention should be afforded around the time of national holidays.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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