Michelle Rupp: Joining us now is Dr. Beth Milligan one of the doctors here at AFMC. But also has firsthand experience in the emergency room and dealing with some firework accidents. And so, Dr. Milligan joins us now and Doctor Beth first of all wow I bet 4th of July is a is a very busy time in the emergency room. Dr. Beth Milligan: It can be, it sure can.
MR: So, you have witnessed firsthand when fireworks maybe don’t go off like they should. What are some of the injuries that that come into the ER during the season?
BM: Well, the most common injuries seen with the fireworks is going to be burns to the hands and the fingertips. That’s the number one and number two is our injuries when it comes to fireworks.
MR: So, what are some safety tips that we need to keep in mind if we’re if we’re shooting fireworks on our own?
BM: Well, the common sense which you’ll hear from people is you need to make sure that you’re using fireworks that have been sold properly and stored properly so that you’re not going to have an injury. And also, don’t let Children get around the fireworks and make sure you’re a safe distance from fireworks and you need to know what those fireworks will do. For example you’ll see people, oh sparklers are safe and they’ll hand a small child a sparkler having no idea the child’s holding it to their face and that can cause burns and eye injuries.
MR: What about bottle rockets and roman candles? Sometimes they shoot off like they should, sometimes they don’t
BM: Well people, sometimes people will hold them in their hand and point them. I mean, I don’t know anybody that has not heard somebody doing that and they can explode in their hands or misfire and then it can actually cause issues hitting you in the face.
MR: So, what happens if you are at a neighbor’s house or in the backyard and you have a mishap? What are some of the very first things in addition to calling 911 that we can do immediately to help minimize damage.
BM: Well, you want to remain calm obviously and if you can move the person away from the fireworks to a safe area. And one of the first things they say to do if you can is to take that area that’s been burned. And put not cold water but tap water over the area that’s been burned. If its eyes, if you can wash out the eyes as well to try to keep that extremity washed as quickly as possible,
MR: What if you are at a fireworks display, and perhaps the advice stays the same, but if you are at a fireworks display and something goes awry and you end up getting burned.
BM: Well, obviously the first thing you want to do is move away from the area that’s being burned. But you want to do pretty much the same thing with the burn injuries if they can cool that area and apply as what you’re waiting for an ambulance to put not extremely cold water, not hot water, but put water over that area that’s been burned
MR: Okay. And also some good advice is to just maybe leave it to the professionals.
BM: Absolutely. If you don’t have someone there that medically with medical knowledge, you want to leave it to someone that is trying to do that and wait till an emergency personnel could get there. But you can also, you ask with the burns, just trying to get the clothing off the area that has been burned and bring that clothing off the burn.
MR: Okay, well we want to minimize as many negative experiences as possible this fourth of July season. And so Dr. Beth is there anything else you’d like to add?
BM: Well, I will tell you this. I think some people might laugh at me, but I actually wear hearing protection in our protection goggles if I’m going to be the person that’s going to be near the fireworks. Really near and helping set off the fireworks, I would say whoever is doing that needs to have eye protection and hearing protection from those loud noises protect your hearing.
MR: And that’s one thing we don’t often think about maybe even some hearing protection if you’re going to watch big displays as well.
BM: Yes, for sure because you can be sitting near it and it can be very loud explosions.
MR: Great advice, Dr. Beth. Thank you for popping on and joining us this afternoon.
BM: Thank you.
MR: And thank you for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more AFMC TV.