Firework-related ocular trauma at a level 1 trauma center during a citywide pandemic lockdown: a case series report

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Marycon Chin Jiro, MS
Georgia Kaidonis, MBBS, PhD
Joey Chiang, MS
Jay M. Stewart, MD
Sriranjani P. Padmanabhan, MD


All 6 cases occurred between March 2020 to July 2020 and involved fireworks of non- official use. A majority of subjects were male between the ages of 17 and 53 years. Ocular trauma presented as the following. Case 1 is a 17-year-old male who sustained a left-sided corneal abrasion and foreign body after a firework exploded in his hand. Case 2 is a 47-year-old man who presented with a right globe rupture after being struck with a projectile from a neighborhood fireworks display. Case 3 is a 36-year-old man with corneal abrasion, traumatic iritis, and commotio retinae after a firework injury in the setting of alcohol use. Case 4 is a 35-year-old man who presented with left lid injury, corneal abrasion and hyphema after being struck by a firecracker with evidence of penetrating eye trauma on subsequent exams. Case 5 is a 53-year-old man who developed bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhages and a partial thickness corneal laceration after a firecracker exploded in his left hand. Case 6 is a 48-year-old woman with bilateral corneal stromal foreign bodies after a firework exploded while cooking.
Fireworks are a preventable cause of mortality and long-term ocular morbidity. The index of suspicion for open globe injuries related to fireworks should be high given the mechanism of injury. These presenting cases at a level one trauma center and safety-net hospital may be an unforeseen product of COVID-19 lockdowns. Our findings are relevant to hospitals that serve a safety-net role in the community. Further initiatives to regulate firework activities and improve awareness of the recreational dangers of fireworks should be prioritized to limit harms for all community members.


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Jiro MC, Kaidonis G, Chiang J, Stewart JM, Padmanabhan SP. Firework-related ocular trauma at a level 1 trauma center during a citywide pandemic lockdown: a case series report. Digit J Ophthalmol. 2024;30. Accessed July 21, 2024.