2 kids suffer severe burns due to firecrackers
MANILA, Philippines – The misery of firecracker victims continues on the second day of 2013 as two more children were admitted to Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC) due to severe burns in different parts of the body.
Robin Lomeda, 10, obtained a second degree burn on his face, arms and legs after igniting Tuesday night a mixture of powder collected from various firecrackers that did not explode on New Year’s Eve.
Lomeda created his own firework commonly called "Darna", a blast of fire and smoke from a self-made concoction of firecracker powder.
He could hardly speak as his lips begin to swell, and can no longer move his right hand, which stiffened up due to severe burns.
The boy’s mother, Vangie, is now appealing for help.
Each tube of medical ointment needed for her son’s burned skin costs P4,000.
“Sana naman kung bata-bata pa, bantayan mabuti kahit tapos na ang Bagong Taon,” she said.
Jethro Dalmacio, 12, also sustained a second degree burn, but his case was worse than Lomeda.
Dalmacio could no longer open his eyes as it was severely burned by the blast of powder from the mixture of firecrackers created to compose a "Darna".
His father, Modesto said, "Siguro pagsindi nu’ng mitsa hindi umapoy, ang ginawa niya hinipan, sa mukha niya napunta lahat."
Dalmacio’s face as well his ears were severely burned. His lips are also severely swollen.
Modesto is also asking for financial help to those who are generous enough to help them.
Modesto is a tricycle driver who works to earn a living for his 7 children.
His son Jethro has stopped from schooling because of poverty.
"Lalo pa ngayon makikita siya ng kalaro niya, ‘di maiiwasang tuksuhin ‘yan. Lalo nang ‘di mag-aaral ‘yan," Modesto said.
Dr Emmanuel Tadifa, a surgeon at the JRRMC, said doctors are also monitoring the lung condition of the two children.
"’Yung manner of injury kasi nang masindihan ang pulbura mukhang nalanghap nila at posibleng may kumplikasyon sa daanan ng hangin," Tadifa said.
So far, he said there are no indications that the lungs were affected.
"Pinaka-dreaded complication ‘yung infection na mag-set in sa mga bata," he said.
The two children are surviving on the use of oxygen and antibiotics but because of poverty, they may not be able to sustain the medical needs of the victims.
Dr. Tadifa said the two children will be brought to the ICU of the burn unit for special medical care.
Firecracker-injury cases down
In the whole country, firecracker victims are down by 29%, according to the latest figures of the Department of Health (DOH).
A total of 697 firecracker related injuries were recorded compared to almost a thousand victims in 2011.
Twenty-seven percent of the victims this year were children below 10 years old.
There are also 20 stray bullet victims this year compared to 29 last year.
Metro Manila still has the most number of victims in the country with 398 and “piccolo” as the number one source of injuries with 190 victims.
At least a hundred of the total number of victims incurred an eye injury, while almost 30 patients had their hands or fingers amputated.
DOH Asec. Dr. Eric Tayag said the department will be initiating a meeting with mayors of Metro Manila cities and municipalities to discuss the possibility of banning firecrackers in NCR.
“Idi-discuss namin sa kanila ang resulta ng kampanya, anong hakbangin ang dapat isalang-alang at kailan ipatutupad ang rekomendasyon na iyon," said Tayag.
Tayag added that if the firecracker ban was done in Davao City it can also be done in Metro Manila, which has the most number of victims yearly.