The Telegraph
Friday , October 28 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Burn injuries mar festive mood
- Careless handling of crackers, drink driving prove costly for many on Diwali

Oct. 27: Diwali did not turn out to be a happy occasion for many, as several cases of burns were reported from different parts of the city.

Most hospitals recorded a more than normal number of patients with burns of varied degrees, which were mainly sustained while bursting firecrackers.

Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) received 10 cases of burns. While one of these was a case of major burn injury, the rest were of minor nature. Apart from these, the emergency out patient department (OPD) also received a few cases of road accidents.

“One person accidentally burnt himself and is currently undergoing treatment in the burns ward of the hospital. The other nine patients received superficial burns while bursting crackers. They were allowed to leave the hospital after being administered necessary first aid,” a junior doctor on emergency OPD duty said.

However, doctors said there might be several more cases of minor burns, as most victims prefer first aid in local pharmacies.

“Even after knowing that firecrackers should be handled carefully, there are many who light crackers in their hands. That is why they get burnt easily. Sometimes, a defective cracker may burst accidentally and sparks can injure people standing close by,” senior consultant surgeon of Nemcare Hospital, B.P. Sarma, said.

Nemcare Hospital, which specialises in treatment of burns, received 15 cases during the festival.

“Fourteen cases were of superficial burns, which the victims incurred while bursting firecrackers. However, one lady received 20 per cent burns and was admitted to the burn unit. Her sari caught fire while she was lighting earthen lamps. But she is stable and will recover in a few days’ time,” Sarma said.

An EMRI 108 Ambulance service official said, “This Diwali a number of burn cases has occurred in the city. However, we have received five cases of major burns. These patients are undergoing treatment in different hospitals currently.”

The official also reported 25 cases of road accidents, which required EMRI attention.

“More vehicular accidents occur during festivals as many tend to drive rashly under the influence of alcohol. We received 25 cases related to road accidents and the victims had sustained injuries of varied degrees. They were taken to the nearest hospitals by our paramedics,” the official said.

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