Firecracker-related injuries decline by 52% at 236 cases – DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   January 2, 2019   •   3164

 

A victim of firecracker piccolo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) noted a significant decline in the number of firecracker-related injuries from December 21, 2018 to January 2, 2019.

This year’s tally, the DOH said, was 256, which is lower than the same period last year which was 492.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted, however, that there were still severe cases recorded this year.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong walong naputulan ng daliri. May 61 na tinamaan sa mata. Gusto pa rin natin na bumaba ito,” Domingo said,

Based on DOH’s record, Metro Manila tops the regions with the highest number of firecracker-related injuries, followed by Ilocos Region and Western Visayas.

Meanwhile, skyrockets or ‘kwitis’ tops the list of injury-causing firecrackers.

“Mayroon pa rin tayong piccolo, boga, at luces…5-star ang pinaka-common pa rin na injuries this year,” the health official said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously emphasized the strict implementation of firecracker zones because most firecracker-related injuries happen in streets or at home.

“So masaya tayo. Relatively speaking mababa. Pero mas masaya kung zero casualty. So palagay ko darating din ang panahon na zero casualty tayo. Mayroon tayong hinahabol na modelo ang Davao City,” Duque said noting Davao City for its record of zero-casualty in welcoming the new year.

Duque noted that most of the victims were high in alcohol.

Some were hurt while smoking cigarettes that sparked the firecracker.

Aside from firecracker ban, the DOH also encourages the public to do away from vices particularly drinking alcohol.

“Iyong manginginom kung pwede itigil ninyo na rin iyan. Dati may sinasabi safe amount of drinking alcohol. Wala ng safe amount kahit na small amount ay meron din banta sa ating kalusugan kaya itigil na  natin iyan,” Duque concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Philippines eyes 30,000 daily COVID-19 tests by end of May

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to achieve 30,000 daily tests for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the month as it works to ramp up the country’s testing capacity.

The DOH set the target after it finally attained its first target to conduct 8,000 COVID-19 tests in a day.

On Sunday, May 10, the agency reported it has conducted 8,637 tests in one day. This is, however, 10 days past its target date of April 30.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the tests were done on 158,176 unique individuals.

She explained that one of the causes of the delay was the slow processing of samples after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) had to scale down its operations in April when over 40 of its medical staff contracted COVID-19.

The RITM has since returned to normal operations after most of its personnel recovered from the disease.

So far, the Philippines has 26 accredited laboratories capable of detecting the strain of coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.

Vergeire said they are eyeing to open additional testing facilities to reach its target of 30,000 daily tests.

This way, the country will be able to improve efforts on contact tracing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients to effectively curb the spread of the disease.

“Hindi pa po tapos ang laban ng World War C (COVID-19) sa bawa’t bagong impormasyon bawa’t bagong teknolohiyang nadidiskubre upang malabanan ang COVID-19 tayo’y dapat maging manatiling alerto dahil ang bawa’t bagay na nagagawa natin ay mayron buhay na mailigtas,” Vergeire said.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 11,086 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 726 deaths and 1,999 recovered patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Number of firecracker-related injuries recorded in 2020 revelry decreases — DOH

Maris Federez   •   January 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III considers their campaign banning the use of firecrackers in the New Year revelry a success.

This, after the department on Wednesday, reported around 164 cases of firecracker-related injuries amid the festivity.

This is lower by 87 cases from the 2019 record of 251.

At a press conference at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), Duque said the number is 71% lower than the five-year average of 403 cases.

He attributed this decrease to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 28 issued in 2017 which regulates the use of firecrackers.

“Data would show that indeed the downward trend became evident since the president issued out E.O. 28.” he said.

Duque also underscored that the information campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) about firecrackers — which includes the promotion of community fireworks displays — in causing the downward trend of such cases.

The health secretary also acknowledged the efforts of local government units and the media in the information dissemination on firecrackers.

Based on data from Dec. 21, 2019 to January 1, 2020, the National Capital Region has recorded the most number of cases with 84, followed by CALABARZON with 13 cases.

Most of the victims were male between the ages of one and 71 years old.

Most of the injuries were blasts and burns, which totaled 71 cases reported. This was followed by eye injuries with 26 cases.

Most of the injuries were due to kwitis, luces, fountain, piccolo, and baby rocket.

Duque noted that legal firecrackers caused 69% of all injuries.

The DOH also confirmed that there were no injuries due to stray bullet, fireworks ingestion or deaths recorded amid the revelry. — (with details from Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Lifesaver: How to treat fireworks-related burns and injuries

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government has been calling on the public to ditch fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices for safer noise-maker alternatives to avoid any injuries during the celebration of the holidays.

However, there are some people who just can’t help themselves from setting those firecrackers off so UNTV’s Lifesaver program has prepared first-aid tips on how to treat burns and injuries related to the use of fireworks.

Lifesaver program host, UNTV News and Rescue Manager Benedict Galazan, said there are different first aid treatments for different types of fireworks accidents.

He, however, stressed that these are only temporary measures as victims should be immediately rushed to the nearest hospital.

Here are the first-aid tips:

  • For first degree burns, the burned or injured area should be washed under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain and remove traces of chemical powder.
  • Cover the burned area using a clean cloth and, if necessary, immediately bring the victim to the hospital.

First-degree burns are considered mild and result in pain and reddening of the skin.

  • For second degree burns, run cool water on the wound for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
  • Cover the wound with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the nearest hospital.

Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and lower layer of the skin and may cause pain, redness, and blistering.

When blistering occurs, the swollen area of the skin should not be popped.

“‘Yung mga blister o paltos ay huwag puputukin. Kasi iyan po ang pinaka-defense mechanism ng katawan ‘yan na kapag may heat na naramdaman ang katawan, magpo-produce siya ng liquid para ‘yun din ang makatulong sa pagcool-down ng burn,” Galazan said.

  • For third-degree burns, run the wound on cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
  • Carefully put pressure on the injured area to control the bleeding.
  • Do NOT apply toothpaste, cream or any oil-based ointment to the wound or burn.
  • Cover the injured area with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the hospital.

Third-degree burns affect the dermis and deeper skin tissues and may result in white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.

  • For injured fingers, hands and other limbs, Lifesaver advises to run the injured part under cool water. Do NOT use ice.
  • If the fingers are still intact, run it as well on cool water.
  • If some fingers or other body parts are dismembered or lost, apply pressure using a tourniquet or any device (bandage and stick, rope or belt) to a limb or extremity to limit – but not stop – the flow of blood.
  • Also, try to look for the dismembered finger, and wrap them in a clean cloth. Place them inside a sealed plastic bag and put it in ice.
  • Bring the victim and the dismembered body part to the nearest hospital.

Dismembered limbs need to be brought with the victim to the hospital as these may still be reattached through surgery.

  • For eye injuries, flush the affected eye with cool water to remove any traces of firecracker powder.
  • Do NOT scratch or touch the injured eye.
  • If it is bleeding, use gauze or a paper cup to cover and protect the injured eye. Be careful not to put pressure on the eye.
  • Bring the patient to the nearest hospital

For ingestion or firecracker or its powder, here are the first aid tips:

  • Let the patient drink raw egg whites. Health experts recommend six to eight egg whites to a child and eight to 12 to an adult.
  • The patient should not attempt to throw up the ingested firecracker to prevent further damage.
  • Bring the victim to the nearest hospital.

Remember, if the wound is larger than the size of the palm of the hand, immediately bring the victim to the nearest hospital or call emergency medical services such as 8-911-UNTV.

Watch the episode of Lifesaver below for more first aid tips on firecracker burns:

– RRD (Correspondent Harlene Delgado contributed to this report)

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