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Straughan AJ, Pasick LJ, Gupta V, Benito DA, Goodman JF, Zapanta PE. Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, Annals Publishing)






OBJECTIVES: Fireworks are used commonly for celebrations in the United States, but can lead to severe injury to the head and neck. We aim to assess the incidence, types, and mechanisms of head and neck injuries associated with fireworks use from 2010 to 2019.

METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study, using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, of individuals presenting to United States Emergency Departments with head and neck injuries caused by fireworks and flares from 2010 to 2019. Incidence, types, and mechanisms of injury related to fireworks use in the US population were assessed.

RESULTS: A total of 541 patients (349 [64.5%] male, and 294 [54%] under 18 years of age) presented to emergency departments with fireworks-related head and neck injuries; the estimated national total was 20 584 patients (13 279 male, 9170 white, and 11 186 under 18 years of age). The most common injury diagnoses were burns (44.7% of injuries), laceration/avulsion/penetrating trauma (21.1%), and otologic injury (15.2%), which included hearing loss, otalgia, tinnitus, unspecified acoustic trauma, and tympanic membrane perforation. The remaining 19% of injuries were a mix, including contusion, abrasion, hematoma, fracture, and closed head injury. Associations between fireworks type and injury diagnosis (chi-square P < .001), as well as fireworks type by age group (chi-square P < .001) were found. Similarly, associations were found between age groups and injury diagnoses (chi-square P < .001); these included children 5 years and younger and adults older than 30 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Fireworks-related head and neck injuries are more likely to occur in young, white, and male individuals. Burns are the most common injury, while otologic injury is a significant contributor. Annual rates of fireworks-related head and neck injuries have not changed or improved significantly in the United States in the past decade, suggesting efforts to identify and prevent these injuries are insufficient.

Language: en


trauma; hearing loss; public health; otolaryngology


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