Purpose: To investigate the extent and type of as well as the circumstances connected with, ocular injuries caused by pyrotechnical products in the Western region of Sweden (1 750 000 inhabitants).
Methods: A three-year prospective observational study was carried out to register, interview and follow-up all patients with ocular injuries caused by fireworks. The patients were reported by all ophthalmologists in the area.
Results: 52 patients (72 injured eyes) were reported, 49 males and 3 females. 39 of 52 (75%) were younger than 18 years. 15 patients (including the three females) were bystanders. The injuries ranged from conjunctivitis to complete loss of the eye. The pyrotechnical device had been manipulated or misused in 19 (37%) of the 52 accidents. Seriousness of injury could not be correlated to type of device or to whether the injured person was active in launching the firework or not. 20 (38%) of the 52 patients had permanent damage to the eye.
Conclusion: Ocular injuries from fireworks remain a problem. Preventive measures such as protective glasses and legislation are being discussed.