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doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31826cf315
Clinical Science

Party Foam-Induced Eye Injuries and the Power of Media Intervention

Abulafia, Adi MD*; Segev, Fani MD*; Platner, Eva MD; Ben Simon, Guy J. MD

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Purpose: To describe the clinical features and treatment outcome of eye injuries sustained as a result of contact with artificial snow spray (“party foam”/“silly string”) during 2 consecutive Israeli Independence Day celebrations.

Design: Retrospective, multicenter, consecutive case series.

Setting: Institutional.

Intervention/Study Population: All patients who presented to 2 ophthalmology emergency services in 2007 and in 2008 with eye injury caused by contact with the foam. The medical records of the foam-induced eye injury cases were retrieved and analyzed. Data on injury type, comprehensive ophthalmic examination, and time to resolution were collected and analyzed.

Main Outcome Measures: The assessed variables included the number of cases per year, injury type, visual acuity, treatment, and outcome.

Results: A total of 96 patients (135 eyes) had suffered from foam-induced ocular chemical injuries during the 2 celebrations. Sex and laterality were evenly distributed in the study population. The mean ± SD age was 12.8 ± 2.14 years (range, 7–17 years). All patients suffered from chemical conjunctivitis (100%) and superficial punctate keratopathy (79%), corneal erosion (27%), and conjunctival erosion (5%). More patients were seen during 2007 compared with 2008 [85 (117 eyes) and 11 (18 eyes), respectively]. This reduction was directly attributable to increased public awareness because of media coverage (newspapers, radio, and national TV).

Conclusions: Sprayed foam used in parties and public celebrations can cause mild-to-severe ocular surface injuries. Increased public awareness will inevitably reduce the use of this dangerous agent, but warnings need to be repeated yearly in the national media.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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