Harborview braces for annual wave of fireworks injuries

Harborview Medical Center trauma specialists recently treated a patient who lost a hand to a fireworks injury. The hospital's Emergency Department is braced for the annual influx of those injuries, which number 40 to 50 per year.

“I remember many really tragic patients who lost body parts, hands, other things because of misadventures with fireworks,” said Dr. Michael Sayre, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “The best strategy is not to get injured in the first place. So don't play with fireworks. Don't hold them in your hands, don't use them around children, and then you won't get hurt.”

Fireworks in the hands of young children make for especially perilous situations, Sayre said. Teens and adults also can fail to anticipate what can go wrong and misjudge their own vulnerability.  

Sayre encourages people to take advantage of the return of public fireworks displays around western Washington during the Independence Day weekend. 

Download broadcast-ready video and audio soundbites on fireworks warnings.

UW Medicine