AS usual, the Department of Health (DoH) is discouraging the public from becoming part of the statistics of firecracker-related injuries stemming from New Year revelry.
The DoH said it expects a surge in such cases until the first week of next year which is days from now.
Hard-headed merry makers who sustain firecracker injuries are being advised by the DoH to immediately go to the nearest hospital and seek medical treatment so as to prevent tetanus infection from setting in.
According to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, any open wound such as burn or a cut caused by a firecracker is more likely to attract tetanus infection.
‘Basta tayo ay naputukan kahit minor lang siya, nasunog tayo kailangan talagang pumunta sa hospital kasi bibigyan ka ng anti- tetanus na injection kasama iyong toxoid at anti-tetanus serum,” he said, adding that only a few patients survive tetanus infection especially if the patient has not received the anti-tetanus vaccine.
He went on to inform the public that suspected cases of tetanus infection can be determined if a cut or a wound is followed by: stiffness of the neck, jaw and other muscles often accompanied by a distorted, grinning expression; difficulty in swallowing; irritability and uncontrollable spasms of the jaw commonly known as ‘lockjaw’.
Domingo also said it is better to act ahead before the symptoms of tetanus infection manifest.
‘Talagang nakakamatay po ang tetano. Maninigas. Iyong kanilang panga ay hindi gumagalaw. Nagku- kumbulsyon at sa katagalan ay namamatay within a week siguro or a few days so gusto natin i- prevent iyan,” he said further.
He also gave three simple first-aid tips. in case of firework-related injuries.
First, wash the injured part of the body with clean water.
Second, wrap the wound using clean cloth and bring the victim to the hospital immediately.
Third and for big wounds, use alkaline soap to clean the wound. Do not apply toothpaste or anything to the wound or burn.
So far, the DoH has already recorded a total of 24 firecracker-related injuries since December 21 although it still is lower than the same period last year. Based on records, most of the victims are males aged two to 49 years old.
Once again, the DoH reminds the public to refrain from using strong and unauthorized firecrackers to be able to welcome the New Year with a smile and in one piece.
Concerned authorities already round like a broken record over the same warning. Will they be heeded this time around?
Wish you all a safe New Year!!!
* * *
Direct Hit entertains comments, suggestions or complaints. Please have them emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 0927-7169778.