There is a paucity of clinical data on severe fireworks-related injuries, and the relationship between firework types, injury patterns, and magnitude of impairment is not well understood. Our objective was to describe the relationship between fireworks type, injury patterns, and impairment.Methods:
Retrospective case series (2005–2015) of patients who sustained consumer fireworks-related injuries requiring hospital admission and/or an operation at a Level 1 Trauma/Burn Center. Fireworks types, injury patterns (body region, injury type), operation, and permanent impairment were examined.Results:
Data from 294 patients 1 to 61 years of age (mean 24 years) were examined. The majority (90%) were male. 119 (40%) patients were admitted who did not undergo surgery, 163 (55%) patients required both admission and surgery, and 12 (5%) patients underwent outpatient surgery. The greatest proportion of injuries was related to shells/mortars (39%). There were proportionally more rocket injuries in children (44%), more homemade firework injuries in teens (34%), and more shell/mortar injuries in adults (86%). Brain, face, and hand injuries were disproportionately represented in the shells/mortars group. Seventy percent of globe-injured patients experienced partial or complete permanent vision loss. Thirty-seven percent of hand-injured patients required at least one partial or whole finger/hand amputation. The greatest proportion of eye and hand injuries resulting in permanent impairment was in the shells/mortars group, followed by homemade fireworks. Two patients died.Conclusions:
Severe fireworks-related injuries from homemade fireworks and shells/mortars have specific injury patterns. Shells/mortars disproportionately cause permanent impairment from eye and hand injury.