Surge in burn cases this Diwali

Doctors in major hospitals reported a surge in burn cases this Diwali. The burns department at Safdarjung Hospital received 150 cracker-related burn cases on Diwali day itself, compared to a little over 200 cases in three days last Diwali.

Dr Karoon Agrawal, who heads the burns department at Safdarjung Hospital, said: "A lot of burn cases are reported a day before Diwali and the day after the festival. So, we take a three-day count. We still expect another 50-60 patients."

Doctors said the cases this time were not of severe burns since no patient required admission. "Not a single cracker burn patient had to be admitted," said Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of the hospital, said. According to Dr Agrawal, the burns ranged between 1-15 per cent.

At Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, 41 patients came to the burns emergency on Diwali but only one required admission. "Last year, we received 36 patients. So there is a marginal increase this year already and we still have to take post-Diwali burns into account," Dr L K Makhija, who heads the burns department, said.

According to Dr Makhija, there was a slump in cracker burn-related cases for a few years but it picked up again in the last two years.

"There should be some monitoring of the quality of crackers. I think several poor quality crackers are in the market, which could be responsible for the increase in burns cases."

At the Lok Nayak Hospital, Dr R B Ahuja said 38 patients reported to the hospital's burns department and eight had to be admitted. "One woman sustained around 80 per cent burns. Her sari caught fire while she was lighting a diya. She is critical. Otherwise, the figures are similar to those last year," a senior doctor said.

The city count

Safdarjung Hospital: 150 patients, 0 admissions

... contd.

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