Background: To document the clinical features, management and visual outcome of fireworks-related ocular injuries during the Spring Festival.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients with fireworks-related ocular injuries attending the Department of Ophthalmology in Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University from January 20 to February 10, 2009. Age, gender, laterality, type of fireworks, location of incident, initial best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), diagnosis, management, and final BCVA at last follow-up were documented. Relevant clinical features and visual outcome were evaluated.
Results: We observed 25 eyes in 24 patients. Injuries were more frequent in children (ten, 41.7%), males (19, 79.2%), and as open globe injury (15, 62.5%). The most common pyrotechnical products causing accidents were firecrackers (12, 50%). Rural residents had significantly higher rates of injury compared to urban residents (P = 0.023). Of 25 eyes, the most common injuries were corneal/scleral/corneoscleral open globe trauma (15, 60%), traumatic cataract (14, 56%), vitreous hemorrhage (seven, 28%) and retinal detachment (seven, 28%). Most eyes (23, 92%) received surgical intervention, including one (4%) eye enucleation. Vitrectomy was the most surgical treatment. After management, visual outcomes showed statistically significant improvement (P = 0.008). Initial BCVA correlated strongly with final BCVA (P = 0.010).
Conclusion: Fireworks-related ocular injuries occur mainly in children, males and rural settings, are frequently severe and visually devastating. Therefore, preventive measures should be strengthened, including public education and legal restriction on the sale and use of fireworks.