On Diwali,hospitals in the city were once again flooded with cases of cracker burn injuries,despite continued efforts made to educate the public regarding how to prevent such accidents.
Around 500 cases of cracker burn injuries were reported from across the city on Diwali,the majority from government hospitals. So far,the death of a 23-year-old woman is the only one reported this year.
Doctors from Safdarjung hospital,which has the largest burns unit in the country,said the hospital had received 234 cases of cracker burns 165 on Diwali,and 33 and 36 cases a day before and after the festival,respectively. Last year,it had treated 261 patients,with 150 cases coming in on Diwali.
Doctors at the hospital said the intensity of burns on patients had gone up this year,with several sustaining up to 60 per cent burns,against a maximum of 15-20 per cent seen during the festival last year. The 23-year-old woman who succumbed to injuries at the hospital on Monday,too had sustained above 60 per cent burns from firecrackers,doctors said.
Dr Karoon Agrawal,head of the burns and plastic surgery department of Safdarjung hospital,said,After so much effort put into public education,we had anticipated the cases to go down drastically on Diwali this year. But from 150 cases last year,this year we saw 165 cases.
Speaking of the intensity of burns going up this year,Dr Agrawal said,It is a worrying trend. Last year,we only admitted one patient on the day of Diwali,but this year,we have admitted 12. This itself shows that the intensity of burns was much higher this year. All those who need to be admitted have sustained above 20-25 per cent burns, he said.
Most patients this year,
Dr Agrawal said,appeared to have burns on their face and hands. Most of the patients with severe burns,including the woman who died,were bursting crackers,which we have identified as the usual suspects behind burns. These are anars,charkhis and rockets, he said.
Doctors said Safdarjung hospital,being a specialised referral centre for burns cases,could have received the mammoth share of severe burn injuries.
The number of patients in most other hospitals seemed to be more or less similar to the numbers they had received last year. Some hospitals also confirmed a drop in the number of cracker burn cases.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in West Delhi reported 55 cases,while Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) hospital in Northeast Delhi reported 56. The maximum intensity of burns among patients at GTB was reported to be 20 per cent.
The intensity appears to have gone up,but the numbers we have appear to be the same as last year, a doctor from GTB Hospital said.
Lok Nayak Hospital in Central Delhi received 35 cases. Senior plastic surgeon at the hospital Dr P S Bhandari said apart from one woman who had sustained 60 per cent burns,all other patients reported less than 10 per cent burns and did not need to be admitted.
Our only critical patient had burnt her sari while she was trying to light a candle. The number of cases at our hospital appears to have gone down considerably,but the intensity of burns remains the same,
Dr Bhandari said.
At RML hospital,Dr L K Makhija,head of the burns and plastic surgery department said around 40 cases had been reported this year. But,he said,most of them were minor injuries of upto 1-2 per cent burns. There seems to have been a drop in cases we have seen,and none of the patients who came to us required admission, Dr Makhija said.
…air pollution levels fall,decibel rises<\b>
This Diwali,air pollution levels recorded in the capital were the lowest in five years according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data. However,some air pollutants remained well above permissible limits and noise pollution also recorded an increase.
The CPCBs real-time continuous ambient noise monitoring system at four locations Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT),CPCB campus,Delhi College of Engineering (DCE),and Dilshad Garden recorded an average of 58,62,52 and 56 dB(A) respectively,this year,against an average value of 56,58,50 and 49 dB(A) respectively,last year.
According to scientists,this could be attributed to the bursting of more noisy crackers this year. According to the report,noise levels showed a deceasing trend in the four sites in comparison to last year,while they were found to have shot up at five locations.
The maximum noise level 83 dB(A) was recorded in Mayur Vihar Phase-II in East Delhi,followed by Kamla Nagar and Ansari Nagar,both at 81 dB(A).
According to the data,particulate matter levels have shown an increasing trend at all monitoring stations this year.
Respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) values ranged between 796 and 1138 µg/m3 as compared to 748 to 951 µg/m3 last year. According to the CPCB report,increased particulate matter levels could be partly attributed to adverse meteorological conditions such as lower night temperature,low mixing height and low wind speed.
Round-the-clock ambient air quality monitoring at Pragati Maidan Metro station,Pitampura,Siri Fort,Janakpuri,Nizamuddin,Shahzada Bagh and Shahdara found decreased sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentration at five locations,while the values increased in two locations when compared to last year.
The range of SO2 concentration was found between 5 and
56 µg/m3 as compared to 3 and
63 µg/m3 last year. SO2 levels have been found within the prescribed limit of 80 µg/m3 at all locations. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration also remained on the lower side,ranging from 26 to 87 µg/m3 as compared to 44 to 85 µg/m3 in 2012. Only Shahzada Bagh reported NO2 levels higher than the prescribed limit.