Firecracker-related ocular injuries during Diwali festival season in a tertiary care center in Northern IndiaMandeep Tomar1, Gaurav Sharma2, Rajeev Tuli2, Rattan K. Sharma2
1Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Government Medical College, Nahan, Himachal Pradesh, India
2Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Kangra at Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India
International Medicine 2020; 2(1): 20-27 | DOI: 10.5455/im.61108 PDF
Background: Fireworks have an important role in various celebrations and festivals in most parts of the world. The difference between the celebrations in developing countries such as India and their counterparts in the Western world is mainly in the laxity of legislation regarding the execution of the firework display. Fireworks are an integral part of most celebrations in India. Although fireworks are meant for entertainment, injuries caused by them carry a high price to pay. Ocular injuries constitute about 20% of firework injuries. So, a singlecentre, prospective study was done to evaluate the types of fireworks-related ocular injuries during Diwali season and visual outcomes in these patients.
Methods: We evaluated firecracker-related ocular injuries and visual outcomes among patients over three consecutive years (2015 to 2017) during the Indian festival season of Diwali at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC). Detailed ocular examinations, managements of all patients and a follow up to six weeks were performed.
Results: A total of 38 patients presented to us during the Diwali season (28 males and 10 females). The age distribution was 1-15 years (52.63%),15-40 years (31.57%) and >40 years (15.78%). Visual acuity at presentation was <3/60 in 42.10% of the cases, 6/36-3/60 in 18.4% and 6/6-6/24 in 39.47%. The most common modes of presentations were corneal abrasion/corneal epithelial defect (in 86.84% of the cases), conjunctival and corneal foreign bodies in 39.4%, hyphema in 31.57% and vitreous hemorrhage in 23.68%. Four of 38 patients had an open globe injury. The most common firecrackers causing ocular injury were bombs and fountains (60.52%) followed by rockets (23.68%) and sparkles (15.78%). After the six-week follow-up, 76.31% of the patients had a visual acuity of 6/6-6/24, 18.42% had 6/36-3/60 and 5.26% had < 3/60.
Conclusions:Firecracker injuries can cause serious and irreparable damage to vision. Preventive measures should be strengthened, including public education and legal restriction on the sale and use of fireworks.
Keywords: eye, festival, injury, India