‘Get proper treatment,’ DOH tells firecracker victims


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The DOH asked the public to seek treatment for injuries amid 697 reported cases of people being injured due to 2013 revelry

MANILA, Philippines – If you’re injured, seek a doctor for “proper management.” This was the general idea the Department of Health (DOH) imparted to those who suffered injuries during the New Year.

Dr. Eric Tayag, DOH Assistant Secretary, reminded people not to ignore any injuries they may have sustained. Tayag reminded the public that gunpowder-related injuries could result in tetanus if one doesn’t get anti-tetanus shots.

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona also added to the call for public safety, asking people not to use fireworks that either remained from the New Year celebration or did not explode.

The total number of injuries caused by celebratory revelry is currently at 697, according to the number of cases reported to the DOH by 50 sentinel hospitals nationwide.

According to the DOH National Epidemiology Center’s records, the number of firecracker-related injuries rose by 271, with stray bullet incidents up 12 cases and fireworks ingestion incidents up a single case. Rappler’s January 1 report stated that there were “already a total of 413 firework-related injuries recorded by 6am.”

DOH records also showed those most likely to be hurt in New Year revelry were children below 10 years of age. Of 83 cases, approximately 27% were children under 10, with a majority using the Piccolo, a banned firecracker intended for children.

All this said, the data may not be representative of the true number of injuries.

Tayag added that the recent report of a four-year old boy who died from a stray bullet injury was not included in the DOH registry. Tayag explains, “For stray bullets, we coordinate closely with the police. With regards to that case in Mandaluyong, it’s considered a crime case and it is not included in our registry.” – Rappler.com

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