DOH warns: Take firecracker wounds seriously

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Friday, December 27, 2013

HEALTH officials warned residents in Baguio City not to self-medicate but treat wounds and injuries from firecrackers and pyrotechnics seriously by contacting doctors and availing themselves of the needed treatment in the nearest hospital.

Elnoria Bugnosen, Department of Health's (DOH) Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) coordinator, said wounds and burns from firecrackers should be washed properly, doused in povidine iodine solution and sealed with gauze to prevent further infection.

She added that firecracker victims must be rushed immediately to the hospital so they will be given an anti-tetanus vaccine as preventive measure.

Tetanus often results in uncontrolled muscle spasms or a lockjaw due to a Clostridium tetani infection generally occurring through wound contamination and often involves a cut or deep puncture wound as in the case of blast injuries from firecrackers.

Bugnosen said that medical practitioners are effective responders to amputations and other first aid treatment.

She said chemicals from firecrackers and burn injuries often result in infections when not treated immediately in the hospital. Prolonged non-treatment of firecracker injuries could also be fatal, she warned.

Government and private hospitals will be on alert this coming New Year's Day to respond to medical emergencies from those wounded due to firecrackers.

The DOH has been advocating for a safe New Year's Day celebration in the Cordillera, as the agency urged the public to forego firecrackers and instead use alternative noise makers such as whistles, torotot and batingting.

The agency said that aside from injuries from firecrackers, toxic fumes and smoke from ignited firecrackers could also trigger asthma and other respiratory ailments. (JM Agreda)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 28, 2013.

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