Background: Every year during the holidays of the Arab and Druze population, and especially during Id el-Adha, scores of injured from firecrackers, crackers, skyrockets and other homemade explosive devices arrive at the Western Galilee Hospital. Similar casualties present during the Jewish Purim Festival. Objectives: To characterize the population of the injured and to analyze various aspects of this kind of accidents, in order to reduce injury and minimize disability. Methods: A retrospective survey of records of all injured from firecrackers and similar devices during holidays that arrived at our hospital between 1999 and 2003 was conducted. Between 2001 and 2002 the trauma team, in cooperation with the local leadership, directed an education and information campaign in the community, in an attempt to reduce these injuries. Results: During the study period, a decrease in the rate of injury was observed, which in the year 2003, reached a level of 50% of the 1999 figures. Of the injured, 53% were children (415 years old), 93% were Arab or Druze, and 93% were males. The rate of injuries from fireworks in 2003 was significantly lower than the mean rate of the years 1999, 2001, 2002 (p=0.045). The major cause of injury was firecrackers (67%) followed by fireworks (21%). Major injuries were to the extremities (58%), followed by facial and eye trauma (24%) and burns (11%). Of the casualties, 54% were lightly injured, 46% were hospitalized, 24% required surgical intervention and 7% lost fingers. Two individuals lost eyesight in one eye, but no fatalities occurred. Conclusions: The reduced rate of injury from fireworks and similar devices can be attributed to two major reasons: intervention by the trauma team and enforcement by the police and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. We recommend conducting a combined campaign of education and parental guidance with the involvement of community leaders and local media, and to increase law-enforcement. The organization of central firework displays in each community during this holiday should be considered.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Oct 2004|