Harborview readies for annual wave of fireworks injuries

Every year, unlucky people experience the destructive power of mortars and explosives, an emergency-medicine specialist says.

Media Contact: Susan Gregg - 206-390-3226, sghanson@uw.edu

Every year around the Fourth of July, Harborview Medical Center, the region’s only Level I trauma and burn center, treats about 55 patients for fireworks-related injuries.  The hospital's Emergency Department will be staffed to care for the influx of injuries expected this week. 

“We see a lot of fireworks-related injuries,” said Dr. Stephen Morris, an emergency medicine specialist at UW Medicine in Seattle. “The most devastating injuries that we see are those to the hands and eyes.”   

“Fireworks and alcohol certainly don’t mix,” he added. “That’s a big portion of the injuries we see related to people who are intoxicated and just don’t have the wherewithal to use them properly.” 

Morris encourages people to attend a public fireworks display run by professionals to celebrate Independence Day. 

Download broadcast-ready video soundbites with Morris discussing fireworks safety.  


UW Medicine