Firecracker injuries nearly double from last year

Firecracker injuries nearly double from last year
File photo

THE number of firecracker-related injuries (FWRIs) resulting from the celebration of the arrival of 2024 has nearly doubled compared to the previous year, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH).

In its final FWRI report for Surveillance Year (SY) 2023, a total of 609 injuries due to firecrackers and stray bullets have been recorded across the county.

The number is almost double that of the FWRIs for SY 2022, wherein there were only 307 cases in total.

The data for SY 2023 is also the highest in the country since SY 2016, which saw 633 FWRIs.

In a brief statement, the DOH said the higher number of FWRIs can be attributed to the New Year 2024 being the first for the country since the lifting of the public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

"We see this Yuletide season as the first one without any pandemic restrictions at all. It could be because of this renewed freedom to gather and celebrate that more people chose to use fireworks more," said the DOH.

Out of the total FWRIs, 601 were caused by fireworks, one resulted from Watusi ingestion and seven were stray bullet injuries.

Among the firecracker injuries, the DOH said there were 33 (five percent) with blasts/burns with amputation; 447 (74 percent) with blasts/burns without amputation; 155 (26 percent) with eye injuries with one confirmed blindness; and two with hearing loss.

The DOH said the top injury-causing fireworks are kwitis, 5-star, pla-pla, luces, whistle bomb, boga and fountain.

More than half of the FWRI cases come from the National Capital Region with 320 (52 percent), followed by Ilocos Region with 61 (10 percent), Calabarzon with 49 (8 percent), and Central Luzon with 43 (seven percent). (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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