"Across PA, every year around the 4th of July, I learn of at least one eye related injury due to fireworks" says David Armesto, MD, FACS, PAO's Secretary of Public Information. "Our eyes are naturally attracted to the dazzle of fireworks, and if people are not attentive and careful (especially children and their parents), someone is going to get hurt. This can lead to devastating and potentially blinding consequences. I've seen serious injuries from something as seemingly safe as hand held sparklers, to more dangerous ordinance such as bottle rockets (which are not available for general sale to PA residents but are often "smuggled" in). It's best to enjoy the celebration with fireworks from a safe distance. If you are going to use your own, please wear eye protection!"
"Enjoy the show from a safe distance," said emergency physician Merle Carter, MD, FACEP, PACEP President. "Everyone has 24/7 access to emergency care when they need it, but emergency physicians and other emergency healthcare providers encourage you to be cautious and do all you can to avoid unnecessary injury to your eyes, fingers, and other extremities as you celebrate on the Fourth."
If you experience a fireworks injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.
- Do not place ointment or take any blood thinning medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen before being treated by a medical professional.
In addition to promoting safe fireworks practices, PAMED, PAO and PACEP are joining together in opposition of Senate Bill 1055, which greatly expands the retail sale of potentially dangerous fireworks throughout Pennsylvania. If this bill passes, it would legalize the sale and use of consumer fireworks in Pennsylvania, which in turn could increase the number of preventable injuries emergency rooms see each year around the 4th of July.
"Physicians in Pennsylvania will never stand by passively when someone is in harm's way," says Scott Shapiro MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. "This is why we oppose SB 1055."
The Pennsylvania Academy of Ophthalmology has been working to preserve and protect vision and eye health for Pennsylvania's citizens since 1943. With member physicians throughout the Commonwealth, the PAO strives to be the voice of ophthalmology; making efforts to ensure quality eye care on the legislative and regulatory fronts, while building and maintaining relationships with major insurance carriers within the state.
The Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians (PACEP) is a state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), a professional member organization representing emergency physicians since 1971. PACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Learn more at www.paacep.org.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society was founded in 1848. To learn more about PAMED, visit its web site at www.pamedsoc.org or follow on Twitter @PAMEDSociety. Members of the media are encouraged to follow Chuck Moran on Twitter @ChuckMoran7.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Medical Society