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Firecracker injuries skyrocket to 455

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The number of firecracker-related injuries reached 455 as of yesterday after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 75 more cases.

The 455 cases are 44 percent lower compared to the same period last year. But the number of cases could still increase when new reports from different hospitals nationwide reach the DOH.  

The DOH said 288 of the 455 cases are children below 14 years old. Banned firecracker piccolo is still the leading cause of injuries, accounting for 245 of the 455 cases.

 Hand injuries were sustained in 284 cases, while 68 suffered eye injuries.

The DOH said that 12 of the blast injuries required amputation, and 326 of the 455 cases were active igniters.

Metro Manila accounted for 275 cases. Manila has 85 cases followed by Quezon City with 47, Marikina with 30, Mandaluyong with 27, Valenzuela with 17, Pasig and Navotas each with 15, Parañaque and Caloocan with eight each, and Pasay City with three cases.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said the DOH would not cover the medical expenses of active users of firecrackers injured from blasts and were brought to DOH hospitals.

“If they are PhilHealth members, PhilHealth will subsidize them. But on top of PhilHealth and there is still a balance, the DOH will not pay for them. If they are passive users, or they did not use firecrackers, then we will cover them,” she explained.

Garin reiterated the DOH’s call for those who sustained even minor wounds or burns from firecrackers to get anti-tetanus shots to prevent infection. Since firecrackers are dirty, even small wounds or burns are very prone to infection, and could be fatal.

Victims continued to increase yesterday at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City. 

EAMC recorded a total of 89 cases as of yesterday afternoon. Alfonso Nuñez III, head of the hospital’s emergency and trauma department, earlier said they would continue the count until Jan. 6.

In Pangasinan, firecracker-related injuries went down by 70 percent, from 225 cases last year to 97 cases this year, according to the Provincial Health Office. – With Janvic Mateo, Cecile Suerte Felipe, Eva Visperas, Ben Serrano, Ghio Ong

 

ALFONSO NU ATILDE BEN SERRANO CASES CECILE SUERTE FELIPE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOH EAST AVENUE MEDICAL CENTER EVA VISPERAS NBSP QUEZON CITY
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