Firecracker-related injuries down 57%: health department
The recorded number of firecracker-related injuries for this holiday season has gone down by 68 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday.
In a press conference at the East Ave. Medical Center in Quezon City, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said: "In behalf of the DOH I’d like to announce today and I would say we are relatively pleased, relative because there are still injuries but please because of the substantial reduction or decrease on fireworks related injuries from December 21, 2017 to January 1, 2018 compared to the same period of previous year.”
“This is also 77 percent lower than the five year 2012 to 2016 averages. Total number of cases for the period now reach 191, so it is lower compared to previous year and on the average of the past five years,” he added.
Duque said there were no reported deaths as well as cases of fireworks ingestion and stray bullet injury. But the Philippine National Police confirmed a stray bullet incident in National Capital Region.
Supt Johnny Capalos only say the stray bullet incident was recorded in Caloocan City.
“In stray bullet, only one victim was reported to us only in Caloocan,” he said.
Duque said based on their data most of the fireworks related injuries were recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Majority of cases came from the NCR (with) 115 cases that accounts for 60 percent of all cases, followed by Western Visayas (with) 15 cases. Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Bicol Region all have 13 cases each,” he said.
DOH data shows that Region I has five cases, two cases each were reported in Regions II and VIII, six cases in Region VII, four in Region XI and three in CAR.
Duque said the most number of cases in NCR was recorded in the city of Manila.
“At NCR, Manila has the most number 63 cases followed by Quezon City 14, Pasig 11 and Valenzuela six,” he said.
The report also shows that five cases were recorded in Caloocan City, four in Mandaluyong, two cases each in Las Pinas, Malabon, Navotas, Taguig and four in other areas.
Duque said 160 or 84 percent, the majority of the victims, were males with their ages ranging from 11 to 96 years old.
“About 64 percent or 123 cases were active users and about 77 percent or 148 cases occurred in the streets,” he said.
“Majority or 162 cases or 85 percent of the cases sustained blast injuries without amputation, 25 cases or 13 percent had eye injuries while seven or four percent has blast injuries with amputation,” he added.
Duque added the illegal firecracker piccolo still cause the highest number of firecracker injuries while hand is the “top anatomical sites of injury”.
“Piccolo remains as the top fireworks causing injuries at 94 cases which accounts for 49 percent of all cases, followed by kwitis 14 or seven percent, unknown firecrackers 12 or six percent, fountain 10 or five percent and boga nine or five percent of all cases,” he said.
“The top anatomical sites of injury are hand (115 cases) which account for 60 percent of all cases, eye 25 or 13 percent, head 23 cases 12 percent, forearm or arm 20 or 10 percent, legs 13 cases which account for seven percent and chest 10 that’s five percent,” he added.
Duque also assures that hospitalization of the firecracker victims will be shouldered by the government.
“Outside the Philhealth we have medical assistance program .So it will defend on the injury because if it is just bruises the cost is small but if it is serious cases, like amputation, the cost will be more higher but the DOH will shoulder that,” he said.
The health secretary attributes the significant decrease on firecracker related injuries on the executive order that was just signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Overall, the government’s campaign against fireworks has reduced the number of injuries. The DOH is certainly most grateful for the strong cooperation of the our local government units and other government agencies for this success,” Duque said.
“We would also like to thank President Duterte for the passing or signing Executive Order number 28 which truly reinforced the efforts of the DOH and other concerned agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection, PNP and Eco Waste Coalition among others,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS