FILE PHOTO: Fire-cracker injury
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is expecting more cases of firecracker-related injuries until the first week of next year.
In line with this, the DOH advises merry-makers to immediately go to the nearest hospital and seek medical help once hurt by firecracker to prevent tetanus infection.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo explains that any open wound such as burn or a cut caused by a firecracker is more likely to attract tetanus infection.
“Basta tayo ay naputukan kahit minor lang siya nasunog tayo kailangan talagang pumunta sa hospital kasi bibigyan ka ng anti- tetanus na injection kasama iyong toxoid at anti- tetanus serum,” Usec. Domingo said.
Domingo said only a few patients survive tetanus infection especially if the patient has not received the anti-tetanus vaccine.
Suspected cases of tetanus infection can be determined if a cut or a wound is followed by:
Stiffness of the neck, jaw, and other muscles, often accompanied by a distorted, grinning expression; difficulty swallowing; irritability; and uncontrollable spasms of the jaw commonly known as ‘lockjaw’.
Domingo said it is better to act ahead before the symptoms of tetanus infection manifest.
“Talagang nakakamatay po ang tetano. Maninigas. Iyong kanilang panga ay hindi gumagalaw. Nagku- kumbulsyon at sa katagalan ay namamatay within a week siguro or a few days so gusto natin i- prevent iyan,” the health official said.
In case of firework-related injuries, follow these three simple first-aid tips.
First, wash the injured part of the body with clean water.
Second, wrap the wound using clean cloth and bring the victim to the hospital immediately.
Third and for big wounds, use alkaline soap to clean the wound. Do not apply toothpaste or anything to the wound or burn.
As of press time, the DOH has recorded a total of 24 firecracker-related injuries since December 21, still lower than the same period last year.
Most of the victims are males age 2 to 49 years old.
The DOH has again reminded the public to refrain from purchasing and using strong and unauthorized firecrackers to be able to welcome the new year with a smile. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)