[Ocular injuries related to Independence Day celebrations] Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Each year, following Israel's Independence Day celebrations, patients are referred to the Soroka University Medical Center as a result of ocular injuries from items such as artificial snow spray, fireworks, plastic hammers and stick-lights (plastic tubes filled with fluorescent liquid). This study aims to describe and characterize the ocular injuries that are directly related to the use of these devices. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The files of all patients who were referred to the Department of Ophthalmology in the Soroka University Medical Center, between the years 1998 and 2005, during the period of Israel's Independence Day, were screened. If a patient sustained an injury from a device used during the celebration, then data relating to the age, sex, injured eye, diagnosis, the device that caused the injury and treatment were collected. RESULTS: A total of 437 patients were included in this study; fifty-two patients had suffered an ocular injury directly due to a celebration device. The patients' mean age was 17.6 years; 61.5% of the patients were male. The three most common ocular injuries were corneal erosions, conjuctival erosions, and superficial punctate keratitis (38.5%, 28.9%, and 23.0%, respectively). Other injuries included corneal and conjuctival foreign bodies, traumatic iritis, elevated intraocular pressure, and subconjuctival hemorrhage. The devices responsible for most of the injuries were artificial snow spray and fireworks. Ocular injuries from stick-light liquid, plastic hammers, and balloon explosions were seen as well. Almost all patients (96.1%) required medical treatment. Patients injured by celebration devices accounted for 27.9% of all patients seen during this period in our Ophthalmology Department; after several years, the rate approached 40%. CONCLUSION: Strict enforcement of rules and legislation regarding the use of celebration devices must be upheld. The public's awareness of the harm that these devices can cause should be strengthened. Language: he

publication date

  • January 1, 2006