BACKGROUND: Fireworks are commonly used in local and national celebrations. The aim of this study is to explore the extent, nature and hospital costs of injuries related to the Persian Wednesday Eve festival in Iran. METHODS: Data for injuries caused by fireworks during the 2009 Persian Wednesday Eve festival were collected from the national Ministry of Health database. Injuries were divided into nine groups and the average and total hospital costs were estimated for each group. The cost of care for patients with burns was estimated by reviewing a sample of 100 patients randomly selected from a large burn center in Tehran. Other costs were estimated by conducting semi structured interviews with expert managers at two large government hospitals. RESULTS: 1817 people were injured by fireworks during the 2009 Wednesday Eve festival. The most frequently injured sites were the hand (43.3%), eye (24.5%) and face (13.2%), and the most common types of injury were burns (39.9%), contusions/abrasions (24.6%) and lacerations (12.7%). The mean length of hospital stay was 8.15 days for patients with burns, 10.7 days for those with amputations, and 3 days for those with other types of injury. The total hospital cost of injuries was US$ 284 000 and the average cost per injury was US$ 156. The total hospital cost of patients with amputations was US$ 48 598. Most of the costs were related to burns (56.6%) followed by amputations (12.2%). CONCLUSION: Injuries related to the Persian Wednesday Eve festival are common and lead to extensive morbidity and medical costs.
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