DOH: 40 fireworks-related injuries since December 21

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, December 28, that it has recorded 40 fireworks-related injuries a week after it kicked off its injury monitoring program in connection with the coming New Year's Eve festivities.

The DOH, which began its Fireworks-Related Injury (FWRI) Surveillance a week ago, said of the 40 people injured, 4 were required  to undergo amputation, while 13 were related to eye injuries.

The FWRI monitoring started on December 21, when the DOH reported a 12-year-old boy from Nueva Ecija who sustained a blast injury after handling an illegal firecracker known as 5-star. It led to the amputation of his left middle finger 

The boy was treated at the Dr Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City.

The FWRI Surveillance runs from December 21 to January 5 of the following year.

The DOH said it added 10 more hospitals for monitoring this year, raising to 50 the number of so-called sentinel sites in the FWRI monitoring.

These selected hospitals are spread nationwide and report daily to the government health agency. They include 32 DOH hospitals, 4 local government unit hospitals, 13 private hospitals, and UP-PGH, a government hospital.

Added as sentinel sites to be monitored this year are: Don Mariano C. Verzosa Memorial Hospital, Southern Isabela General Hospital, Manila East Medical Center, Ospital ng Palawan, Iloilo Mission Hospital, Western Visayas Sanitarium, South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, St Elizabeth Hospital, Inc, Sulu Provincial Hospital, and the Far North Luzon General Hospital and Training Center.

The 2017 surveillance reported a total of 463 cases, a 27% drop from 2016. Most of those injured were between the ages of 10 to 14 years old.

The 2017 monitor showed that the firecrackers causing most injuries were piccolo with 151 (33%) cases, kwitis 54 (12%), luces 28 (6%), and fountain 22 (5%).

The DOH reminded the public that Executive Order No. 28 only allows community fireworks display to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties.

“We are reiterating our advice to parents and caregivers not to allow children to use any kind of firecrackers, especially piccolo, which is the most common cause of injuries among children aged between 10 and 14 years old," Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.

“For any fireworks-related injuries, please consult the nearest health facility for proper wound treatment and management to avoid tetanus,” he added. –