ORLANDO, Fla. - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2018 report on fireworks-related injuries and the numbers are surprising.
A surgeon at Orlando Health, Dr. Brett Lewellyn, contacted Channel 9 anchor Nancy Alvarez after he said he's noticed a serious trend every year on July 4.
Lewellyn said he has seen many injuries when conducting surgeries, but his shift on July 4, 2018, left him shaken.
“I started July 4 at 7 a.m. and operated straight through for 34 hours without a break,” Lewellyn said.
Lewellyn operated on 15 people, but he said the injuries related to fireworks were gruesome.
“Several lost multiple fingers, and out of the 15, three of them lost their entire hands,” Lewellyn said.
Another annual fireworks report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows fireworks were involved in 9,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals last year.
Also, 62% of those happened between June 22 and July 22.
Nearly half of those injured were under the age of 20, and the most common age of patients was children between 10 and 14 years old.
"The vast majority of injuries are from sparklers themselves. People don't realize the sparklers you give a young child can reach a temperature of 2,000 degrees. That’s hot enough to burn through metal,” Lewellyn said.
Lewellyn also said he believes attempts to show off on social media are putting more people in danger.
“People are getting bolder and doing, I’d say, courageous things, but that's not the word. Just things that shouldn’t be done,” he said.
Lewellyn said people should use common sense and take precautions, or better yet, stick to the professional shows, as he hopes for a slower holiday in the emergency room this year.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.