Article Title

Patterns and trends of firework-related adult burns in New South Wales, Australia


Background: Fireworks are often used to celebrate holidays and events. With novel designs and availability, there is potential for blast and burn injuries that can impact livelihood and function. This study aims to describe and analyse firework-related burns in adults across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Methods: A retrospective statewide review was performed from January 2010 to December 2020 at the adult burns units. All firework-related burn injuries older than 18 years that attended or were referred to the burns unit were included.

Results: There were 203 patients with a firework-related burn injury. The male to female ratio was 4:1 with an average age of 32.2 years. Men were 5.2 years younger than women (31.2 vs 36.4, p = 0.010). Men were more likely to have firework-related injuries on non-holidays, whereas women were more likely on holidays (p = 0.050). Men were more likely to operate fireworks after consuming alcohol resulting in burns than women (34.4% vs 12.5%, p = 0.007). Sparklers were more common amongst women, whereas fireworks had higher proportions amongst men (p = 0.009). The most common site of injury was the hands. The most frequent type of injury was a mid-dermal burn (61.6%), followed by superficial (25.2%), and full thickness (13.2%) respectively. The operative rate was 17.7% with a mean total length of stay of 2.2 days (range: 1–12).

Conclusions: Firework-related burns have distinct patterns of use and injuries amongst men and women. Alongside legislation, awareness of the potential hazards for shopgood fireworks such as sparklers is critical for future prevention campaigns.


fireworks, hands, burns, New South Wales

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