Bottle Rockets Tied to Significant Ocular Injuries

Study finds significant injuries in children and adolescents, including permanent loss of vision

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Bottle rockets are associated with significant ocular injuries among children and adolescents, including permanent loss of vision, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Mehnaz Khan, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues retrospectively reviewed consecutive medical records of patients 18 years or younger seen in a recent period of four years to describe the spectrum of ocular injuries and associated visual morbidity caused by bottle rockets.

The investigators identified 11 eyes from 10 patients (eight boys and two girls, aged 5 to 17 years). The investigators found significant ocular injuries, including corneal epithelial defect in seven eyes, hyphema in six eyes, traumatic iritis in two eyes, iridodialysis in four eyes, cataract in four eyes, retinal dialysis in one eye, and vitreous hemorrhage in two eyes. Primary intervention was required in eight eyes, with three patients requiring additional procedures such as pars plana vitrectomy, muscle surgery for sensory strabismus, corneal debridement, and intraocular lens placement. Among 10 eyes with follow-up, the investigators found that the most recent visual acuity was 20/30 or better in four eyes and 20/200 or worse in six eyes.

"This study demonstrates that bottle rockets can cause significant ocular injury in children and adolescents and, in turn, cause their parents and themselves to incur expenses through emergency department visits, surgical interventions, and days missed from school and work. It has been shown that half of all fireworks-related ocular injuries, particularly those leading to permanent blindness or enucleation, are caused by bottle rockets," the authors write.

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