SF Physician Sees Uptick in Injuries from Increased Fireworks

Tim Ryan
July 02, 2020 - 4:05 pm

    It should come as no surprise that along with the increased use of illegal fireworks around the Bay Area this year comes an increase in injuries. A San Francisco physician who treats those injuries told KCBS Radio they can sometimes be lifelong.

    Dr. Nicole Shroeder is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at UCSF and an on-call hand trauma doctor at San Francisco General Hospital, and she said she’s been busy for weeks. 

    “About 30% of the time, firework related injuries are hand or finger related,” she said.

    The luckier victims get patched up, but she said finger amputations are not that unusual. Surprisingly, it can happen with legal—or so-called “safe and sane”—fireworks, as well.

    “Most of the time, they’re related to not illegal fireworks, so things like sparklers, at-home fireworks, small cherry bombs,” Dr. Shroeder said. “Those are often the most frequent ones that we see, and those are related to burn injuries and shrapnel injuries, and things like that.”

    Even sparklers burn at two thousand degrees and burn injuries can be quite awful, she explained. Dr. Nikki  Shroeder advises to please leave these things to the professionals.