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New Year's Eve fireworks: Doctors warn of dangers to eyes, ears and hands


New Year's Eve Fireworks Danger: Uninvolved are often injured

Fireworks on New Year's Eve are loud, colorful and often beautiful to look at. When used improperly, they are one thing above all: dangerous. Rockets and firecrackers injure many people every year, especially on the eyes, ears and hands. It often affects bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Danger from legal fireworks

Millions of people in Germany will greet the New Year with fireworks on New Year's Eve. As every year, doctors warn about the possible injuries from firecrackers and rockets at the turn of the year. What many do not consider: Not only self-made and unauthorized explosive devices, but also legal firecrackers represent an enormous danger. A Bavarian authority recently warned in particular of the "Crazy Robots" flash firecracker, when it detonated in the immediate vicinity, bang trauma, burns and in the worst case, limb loss is to be feared.

Eyes, ears and hands especially endangered by New Year's fireworks

Every year on New Year's Eve, numerous people injure themselves with firecrackers, rockets and other items.

Experts from the University Medical Center Freiburg report in a message, mostly causing burns to the hands and face, injuries to the eyes and eyelids, hearing damage and bang trauma.

The clinic's doctors therefore recommend great caution when burning fireworks. Explosive devices that are manufactured in-house or have no official approval are particularly serious injuries.

Especially in more severe cases, those affected should dial emergency number 112 as quickly as possible or get the help of specialists directly.

Eye injuries

In the case of injuries to the eyes, be it burns or splinters, action must almost always be taken quickly.

“Under no circumstances should you try to do anything yourself on the eye, but go straight to an ophthalmological emergency center. Because even slight external pressure can cause serious damage in this situation, ”advises Prof. Dr. Thomas Reinhard, Medical Director of the Ophthalmology Clinic of the University Medical Center Freiburg.

“Under no circumstances should those affected first sleep in their intoxication. Because over time, the prospects of healing decrease significantly compared to immediate treatment, ”says the doctor.

Particularly nasty: "Most people who injure themselves have not actively" fired "at all. 75 percent, ie three out of four, are uninvolved! “, Explains Prof. Petra Meier, Deputy Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Leipzig (UKL) in a message.

This is not only the case in Leipzig, but can also be observed nationwide. “These people were literally in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is the cruel part of it, ”says the eye expert.

Prevent ear damage

When an explosive device is detonated, a short, extreme load is placed on the ears. Even if the noise is not perceived as unpleasant, such a blast trauma can permanently damage your hearing.

“The treatment options for blast trauma are limited. That is why participants of fireworks should definitely protect themselves with earplugs and sufficient distance, ”recommends Prof. h.c. Mult. Roland Laszig, Medical Director of the Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology at the University Medical Center Freiburg.

If there are noises in the ears or hearing loss the next day, he recommends seeing an ENT doctor:

“Every year around 8,000 people in Germany suffer hearing damage on New Year's Eve. The symptoms often subside over time. But in many cases, hearing remains damaged for months, years, or even a lifetime. ”

The risk of developing chronic tinnitus also increases for those who have once suffered a blast trauma. "Such an event is one of the few clear causes that we know of for chronic tinnitus," explains Dr. Daniela Ivanšić, Head of the Tinnitus Center at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University Hospital Jena (UKJ).

Burns and serious injuries

Burning occurs again and again on New Year's Eve, especially with self-made or non-approved items.

In lighter cases, ointments and home remedies for burns can be used. The healing effects of aloe vera play an important role in this.

"Cool bigger burns, but don't try to clean the wound or open blisters. You should leave that to specialists, ”says Dr. Thorsten Hammer, Medical Director of Surgery at the University Emergency Center at Freiburg University Hospital.

Finger tearing or partial tearing occurs again and again. In many cases, even if these can be restored, long-term restrictions on palpation, gripping and holding cannot be prevented, explains Prof. Björn Stark, Medical Director of the Clinic for Plastic and Hand Surgery at the University Medical Center Freiburg.

Health risks from smoke

Another health hazard that comes from New Year's fireworks is the smoke caused by the fired firecrackers and missiles. The fine dust particles it contains can severely affect the respiratory tract.

This leads to complaints such as coughing, shortness of breath and burning eyes. In addition, the cardiovascular system can be overloaded.

Lung patients, in particular, who suffer from asthma or smoking lung, for example, should not stand directly in the smoke from fireworks. (ad)

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