Thursday, January 1, 2015 - 11:37
Eye doctors treat 10 fireworks injuries
They Eye Hospital (Oogziekenhuis) in Rotterdam admitted 10 victims of firework injuries during New Year's. In 7 cases the injury caused permanent damage to the patient. More victims are expected in the next few days. According to the Eye Hospital, most of the injuries were caused by legal decorative fireworks. This usually involves bystanders who is hit by flying fireworks. None of the victims were wearing firework glasses. The first patients will go into surgery today. The victims with permanent damage might get part of their sight back in the best case scenario, but there is a chance that they will remain blind or lose an eye. Ophthalmologist Tjeerd Faber harshly judges the way in which the Netherlands celebrates the New Year. "New Year in the Netherlands is more like war ophthalmology than normal ophthalmology and unfortunately no longer a celebration of a beautiful traditional festival." According to the Eye Hospital, two nights of fireworks in the Netherlands lead to more eye trauma than the number obtained by US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq in a period of 4 years. This is the 7th year that the ophthalmologists register the number and severity of ocular lesions caused by fireworks during New Year's. In the past six years ophthalmologists treated a total of 1,551 patients with 1,868 damaged eyes. 632 eyes were permanently damaged, 131 eyes went blind. Approximately 50 percent of the patients were bystanders who did not light any fireworks.