Navi Mumbai: Burns centre in Airoli starts helpline for fire cracker injuries
Doctor says caution and quick treatment are two vital aspects to preventing a dark Diwali
The National Burns Centre in Airoli (Navi Mumbai) always wishes the city a 'safe Diwali'. "That is much before we say happy," laughed Dr Sunil Keswani, director of the tertiary burns centre near Mumbai.
The centre has a 24-hour helpline for firecracker injuries. "We usually see 20 to 25 people come into our centre with cracker-related injuries post Diwali," said Dr Keswani, adding that, "Seven out of 10 times, we see that the anar (fountain) has burst in the hand. Sometimes, those lighting fireworks get too close to the fountain, which for some reason may take some time to erupt. They bend over, and it suddenly bursts. Usually, the eyes shut automatically as the cracker bursts, so it is the eyelids that get burnt. Sometimes, very rarely though, we see damage to the cornea."
Dr Sunil Keswani
Dr Keswani said, "It is mostly men who come in with second degree burns, which means that the dermis is affected. This is because young men (mostly young fathers) often demonstrate cracker lighting to their kids. There may be some young men, doing a bit of machismo with the fireworks, too, kicking them around or whatever," laughed Keswani who has some quick tips for those who are going for the burn this Diwali.
Dr Keswani said, "We thankfully have cracker affected patients who can be treated here in a few hours and then go home, because they have not been hurt very seriously. I remember though, a couple of years ago, we had a patient who had suffered serious injuries. A burning rocket had entered a home, there was a small balcony where clothes were drying, on a clothesline, the clothes caught fire and fell on a man who was sleeping underneath. He was grievously injured. Do not light rockets," said Dr Keswani.
He also said that people need to seek treatment quickly for burns, because if too much time elapses there are chances of long term deformity," he explained.
Number to remember
The centre's 24-hr helpline number is: 27793333 and "one can also now whatsapp a picture of the injury to the doctors manning that line, so that they suggest whether you get to the centre immediately," Dr Keswani said.
Dos and don'ts
- Do opt for longer phooljaris and crackers with an ISI mark.
- Do carry a bucket of water or place a bucket of water close to where you are bursting crackers.
- Don't try to poke and prod a cracker that does not burst.
- Don't light rockets in enclosed areas, they can enter open windows and cause damage.
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