Eye injuries from New Year's Eve fireworks: every second person affected is only a spectator

New Year's Eve: Eye injuries from rockets and firecrackers

Millions of rockets and firecrackers will be fired again at the turn of the year. And like every year, the fireworks on New Year's Eve will cause numerous injuries again. As studies have shown, uninvolved people are often affected.

Danger from legal fireworks

Millions of people in Germany will greet the New Year with rockets and firecrackers on New Year's Eve. As every year, doctors warn of the dangers of New Year's fireworks at the turn of the year. What many do not consider: Not only self-made and unauthorized explosive devices, but also legal blasts represent an enormous risk. Among other things, the eyes are at risk.

Eye injuries caused by pyrotechnics

As reported by the DOG - German Ophthalmic Society in a message, well over 800 eye injuries caused by pyrotechnics were reported by German eye clinics in the days and nights around New Year's Eve 2016 and 2017.

According to the information, half of those affected had not even fired the responsible firecrackers themselves, but were just passers-by or spectators.

The DOG - German Ophthalmic Society is therefore calling for more responsible use of rockets and firecrackers: According to the experts, fireworks should be in the hands of trained professionals.

Many children and adolescents affected

According to the information, almost 40 percent of those affected who introduced themselves to an eye clinic around the turn of the year are children or adolescents aged between one and 17 years.

Around 60 percent of the patients are 25 years or younger. These are the results of a survey by the DOG at German eye clinics.

Three quarters of the patients get away with comparatively “minor” injuries to the eyelid, cornea or conjunctiva, which can be treated on an outpatient basis.

However, every fourth patient suffers a serious injury that must be treated in hospital or even in an emergency operation.

These include bruises or cracks in the eyeball, often combined with eyelid and surface injuries. One in ten must expect follow-up surgery, visual impairment or permanent blindness.

"The high proportion of uninvolved passers-by and minors among the injured is alarming," said Dr. med. Ameli Gabel-Pfisterer, ophthalmologist at the Ernst von Bergmann Clinic in Potsdam.

Some victims of the accident even reported being fireworks or firecrackers.

Arguments for a ban on selling fireworks

At the turn of the year 2016/2017, the DOG initiated a survey at German eye clinics for the first time in order to be able to statistically record the number of people affected, the type and extent of the injuries.

Their results were confirmed by a second survey last year.

"Our results, in particular on the number of injured children, adolescents and young adults, are comparable to those of international studies," says Professor Dr. Hansjürgen Agostini from the Ophthalmology Clinic at the University Medical Center Freiburg.

The numbers provide further arguments for a ban on the sale of fireworks to private individuals, as the international council of ophthalmology (ICO) demanded for the first time in 2016.

"If you want to survive New Year's Eve unscathed, leave the bang to the hands of trained professionals," advises Gabel-Pfisterer.

If you don't want to miss the spectacle, you should wear safety glasses for your own safety. Children and alcoholized adults should not handle explosives at all. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: 20192020 Fireworks From the Roof. New Years Eve. Pyro Crew Perspective (January 2022).