OBJECTIVE: People in the Netherlands are legally allowed to celebrate New Year's Eve with consumer fireworks. The aim of this study was to provide detailed information about the patient and injury characteristics, medical and societal costs, and clinical and functional outcome in patients with injuries resulting from this tradition.
METHODS: A multicenter, prospective, observational case series performed in the Southwest Netherlands trauma region, which reflects 15% of the country and includes a level I trauma center, a specialized burn center, a specialized eye hospital, and 13 general hospitals. All patients with any injury caused by consumer fireworks, treated at a Dutch hospital between December 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018, were eligible for inclusion. Exclusion criteria were unknown contact information or insufficient understanding of Dutch or English language. The primary outcome measure was injury characteristics. Secondary outcome measures included treatment, direct medical and indirect societal costs, and clinical and functional outcome until one year after trauma.
RESULTS: 54 out of 63 eligible patients agreed to participate in this study. The majority were males (N = 50; 93%), 50% were children below 16 years of age, and 46% were bystanders. Injuries were mainly located to the upper extremity or eyes, and were mostly burns (N = 38; 48%) of partial thickness (N = 32; 84%). Fifteen (28%) patients were admitted and 11 (20%) patients needed surgical treatment. The mean total costs per patient were €6,320 (95% CI €3,400 to €9,245). The most important cost category was hospital admission. Only few patients reported complaints in patient-reported quality of life and functional outcome after 12 months follow-up.
CONCLUSION: This study found that young males are most vulnerable for fireworks injuries and that most injuries consist of burns, located to the arm and hand, and eye injuries. On the long-term only few patients experienced reduced quality of life and functional limitations.
|Publication status||Published - 2020|