A helpline this Diwali to help treat burnsOctober 22nd, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Got a slight burn while bursting crackers this Diwali? Don’t panic and don’t try home remedies. Help is now just a phone call away.Known plastic surgeon Anup Dhir has launched a 24-hour helpline to provide ready and quick tips on how to treat burn injuries during the festival of lights.
The helpline will be functional from Oct 23. Diwali is on Oct 28.
Dhir, who is a senior consultant cosmetic surgeon in the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and has been running the helpline since 1998, said people have no clue of how to tend to cracker burns.
“A small tip can help ease the person’s pain. I am not treating but advising them what should be done and what should be avoided if one gets burns,” he added.
For assistance, call 09312377554, he said. It will be functional till Oct 30 and the doctor will pick up the phone himself.
“The most important thing regarding burn injuries is that 95 percent of them are accidental and can be prevented with care and precautions. People try their own home remedies which wouldn’t help. One needs professional help,” Dhir told IANS.
The doctor said he started the concept 10 years ago after he saw in the hospital that maximum number of patients after Diwali were those who had burnt themselves while bursting crackers.
“People don’t know how and in which situation to pour water. I will simply guide them and then they could go to their nearest hospital. People panic and act foolishly, which worsens the situation. Some people even apply toothpaste. It is not the solution,” he said.
He said he gets dozens of phone calls before and after Diwali and these peak on Diwali.
Dhir said statistics show that 38 percent of injuries involve hands and fingers and 19 percent eyes.
About half of the injuries are burns, especially in the face, hand, wrist or arm, he said. “Contusions and lacerations are the next most common kind of injuries.”
Forty percent of those who suffered such injuries are children below the age of 14, and it is mostly boys in the age group of 10 to 14, the expert said.
“Diwali is the festival of lights and happiness and that is what it should be. Playing with firecrackers, especially the big ones, should be avoided,” he advised.
He suggested that firecrackers should be lit in an open area and a bucket of water should always be kept nearby.
“The best is to say no to firecrackers. This would surely mean a happy and safe Diwali,” Dhir said.