OMAHA, Neb — On Monday, Dr. Zach Bauman, the trauma medical director with Nebraska Medicine, addressed injuries related to fireworks accidents and took questions from the press.
Bauman said before the weekend started that the emergency room staff was prepared to treat a lot of trauma.
On July 4, they saw 15 fireworks-related injuries, from minor burns to lost appendages. Larger devices with a lot of gun powder were some of the most dangerous this year.
But they also saw injuries not caused by the explosive devices. Bauman said there were a lot of boating injuries this weekend as people were out enjoying the holiday, as well as some accidents involving automobiles.
“We had a handful of kids come in overnight that were unfortunately hit by a car," Bauman said. "I guess you’re lighting off fireworks and running around in the street.”
With many people having Monday off this year, Bauman said the emergency department was prepping for another busy night.
His advice: Don’t add alcohol into the mix.
“I really advise if you’re going to light fireworks to remain sober to do so," Bauman said.
And don’t alter your fireworks.
“That’s where a lot of people get in trouble, is they try to take them apart or try to twist them together or try to light them and then throw them," Bauman said. "Those types of things are just not safe. You just never know how fast a fuse is going to go.”
Methodist Health System released a statement saying it treated 12 patients with firework injuries over the past two days in its emergency departments.
"Two cases were hand injuries and the remaining were patients who were treated for burns to the face, feet, legs, hands and eyes. All patients were treated and released," said spokesperson Claudia Bohn in an email.