Major hospitals in Delhi reported fewer burn cases this Diwali than last year amid a ban on sale and use of firecrackers in the national capital region in view of rising air pollution and COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital, which has the largest burn unit in the country, received 28 burn cases. Of these, 20 suffered minor burns and were treated on OPD basis while eight patients with major burns were admitted, officials said on Sunday.
Among the 20 minor burn cases,13 were cracker-related while seven suffered burns from earthen lamps, they said. According to hospital administration, "Of the eight patients admitted, four suffered burns from earthen lamps and four from crackers. Three patients had to be operated upon." "Compared to last year, this time the influx of patients was almost one-third," it said.
The Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) received 26 patients of which 23 suffered cracker-related burns. "A majority of the cracker-related cases had burn on faces and hands. A 10-year-old was the only one who was admitted. Rest all were discharged after first-aid," RML Hospital's Medical Superintendent DrRanaA K Singh said.
The Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at the AIIMS received around 12 patients with firecracker-related injuries, and all of them required admission for wound repair,Dr Atul Kumar, the chief of the Centre said. "The number of firecracker-injury cases we received this Diwali was much less compared to last year," Dr Kumar said.
Doctors at these hospitals said the impact of pollution was "bad, but it was too early to say that there has been an increase in fresh cases post-Diwali". "Because of the poor air quality prevailing over the last few days, patients who already suffer from asthma, bronchitis, COPD or fibrosis are facing exacerbation of symptoms and have been turning up at the hospital.
"A rise in the cases of difficulty in breathing, runny nose, throat irritation, dry cough and chest infections and aggravated asthma are usually seen post-Diwali," a senior doctor at the RML Hospital said.