ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WLNS)—A recent study published by Michigan Medicine shows a dramatic rise in serious firework-related injuries in the state.
“Injuries more than doubled between before and after the law,” said Co-Author of the Study Melissa Shauver.
This comes after ten years ago the state of Michigan relaxed their restrictions on fireworks—allowing high-powered commercial-grade displays to be sold to anyone.
Now, health care leaders at the University of Michigan want to start a discussion and raise awareness about what they’ve seen at their hospital in the last decade.
“This is the first time somebody has looked at in the state of Michigan before and after the law, so we really wanted to provide evidence and inform the debate,” said Shauver.
Data shows in the six years before the law was passed they would see an average of 13 incidents per year at their hospital. Now, that number is more than 26.
Chief Hand Surgeon for Michigan Medicine, and Co-Author, Doctor Kevin Chung says he hopes their findings allow state leaders to get involved with a deeper level of safety and not just around the fourth of July.
“This kind of discussion, this kind of awareness, and this kind of strategy needs to be perpetuated for the entire year in working with the firework manufacturers, working with legislation, and working with people,” said Co-Author, Dr. Chung.
Forty percent of patients in the last decade were people under the age of 18, and 29 percent of all cases suffered life-altering injuries including brain trauma, the loss of sight, or most common, the loss of a limb. It’s something Dr. Chung says he saw several times over the holiday weekend.
“One blast a whole hand off that I have to do a complex reconstruction on this patient and another one is the same, they lost a whole hand and I have to do multiple bone and tendon and vascular work.”
Right now there is a petition out there to change the law back to the way it used to be. It currently has more than forty thousand signatures.