Firecracker injury cases rise to 54
() - December 27, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The number of revelers injured from firecracker blasts more than doubled on Christmas Day, prompting the Department of Health (DOH) to renew its appeal to the public to use safe noisemaking devices this Yuletide season.

The DOH’s National Epidemiology Center (NEC) said a total of 54 fireworks-related injuries were recorded as of yesterday. On Christmas Eve, the number of cases was only 23.

During the same period in 2008, health officials monitored 41 injuries from fireworks.

The figure does not include the first stray bullet injury recorded from Central Luzon last Dec. 22 when the surveillance for Yuletide-related firecracker and indiscriminate firing incidents was started.

The figures are believed to be under-estimated, as only 29 of the 50 sentinel hospitals being monitored by the DOH for trends have submitted their reports.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III led the launching of the “Kontra Paputok” campaign in the effort to discourage the public from using fireworks and guns in ushering in the New Year.

Duque said revelers need not risk life and limb to celebrate the holiday season, pointing out safe alternatives of noisemaking devices in welcoming the New Year.

Records showed that of the 54 firecracker injuries, 16 involved children less than 10 years old. None of them have required amputation, while nine had eye injuries.

Thirty-seven or 68 percent of the cases were active users of fireworks.

Records also showed that the seemingly harmless piccolo accounted for 56 percent of the cases; followed by triangle, 11 percent; kwitis, five percent; and whistle bomb, five percent. - Sheila Crisostomo

CENTRAL LUZON CHRISTMAS DAY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DUQUE HEALTH SECRETARY FRANCISCO DUQUE KONTRA PAPUTOK NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY CENTER NEW YEAR ON CHRISTMAS EVE SHEILA CRISOSTOMO
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