Final tally: New Year injuries increase to over 1,000

Michael Bueza

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The DOH says the number of injuries is 9% higher than during the same period last year, and 8% higher than the 5-year average

INJURED. The number of New Year-related injuries has surpassed the 1,000 mark, said the Department of Health on Monday, January 6. File photo by Leanne Jazul / Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, January 6, said that it logged a total of 1,018 injuries related to New Year revelries of 2014.

Of the figure, 997 were fireworks-induced injuries, 19 were stray bullet cases, while 2 were caused by ingestion of fireworks, said Health Secretary Enrique Ona in a press conference. The cases were recorded from Dec 21, 2013, to Jan 5, 2014.

The total number of injuries is 9% higher than during the same period last year, and 8% higher than the 5-year average.

There were 363 cases where the injuries were sustained by bystanders, or those who merely watched the fireworks or never lit a firecracker.

Ona also said that 147 injuries were to the eyes.

“It is now time to review our laws with regards to firecrackers, as well as the stricter implementation of rules and regulations on indiscriminate firing of guns,” said Ona.

One casualty ‘lives on’

Ona shared the story of the 12-year-old boy who died from severe head injury after the pulbura (gunpowder) he collected from spent firecrackers exploded.

The health secretary said his parents agreed to donate the boy’s two kidneys after it was found that he is a perfect organ donor.

His two kidneys were transplanted into an adult and are said to be functioning very well. Ona noted that it was the first time in the country’s history that a pediatric kidney donor had his organs transplanted into an adult recipient.

“We are very thankful to the family, that despite the tragedy that befell their family, they have still the courage and equanimity to agree that the kidneys of their beloved son would be able to give life to another person,” said Ona. –

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.