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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-60

Isolated blast injuries to the hands in irrua, Nigeria

1 Department of Surgery, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua; Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Oluwafemi Olasupo Awe
Department of Surgery, Plastic Surgery Unit, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Km 86, Benin Abuja Expressway, PMB 008 Irrua, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2320-3846.183674

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Introduction: Blast injuries to the hands are more common in the war zones as part of the multiple injuries sustained by the patients. However, there have been few reports of the same injuries among the civilians. Isolated blast injuries to the hands are usually due to accidental explosions of firecrackers or fireworks and gunshot injuries. There has been a sudden increase in these injuries and their severity in our hospital in the last few years. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients that presented to the Plastic Surgery Unit of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital over a period of 3 years. All the data were retrieved from the patient case files, preoperative radiographs, clinical photograph, s and the operation records. These data were collated and analyzed. Results: There were 22 patients that presented to the unit, during the period reviewed, via the emergency room. Male constitutes 82% (18), whereas the rest were females. The majority were in the pediatric age group 63.6% (14). The injuries ranged from the simple lacerations to complex injuries with fractures, crush, avulsion, degloving, and autoamputation. The right dominant hand was more common than the left in the unilateral injury. Unilateral injuries occur in almost all the cases except one, which presented 10 days after the injury with associated acute kidney injury. About 82% of them presented during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Conclusion: Isolated blast injuries to the hand from the fireworks and firecrackers affect mainly the children with severe injuries and profound morbidity. There is a need for the government to strictly enforce the law that regulates the use of fireworks and other low-order explosives. There is also need to encourage the development of hand surgery and therapy in the subregion to improve outcome.

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