The celebration of Diwali is marred if somebody burns him or herself by firing crackers. It takes time to fully recover from fire injury. There are some tips that can be followed for a safe Diwali.
Dr PS Bhandari, Ex-HoD and presently Consultant, Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, Delhi, shared his advice for the safe festival.
“In case the body gets engulfed in fire, the standard protocol is to stop, drop and roll, as running usually encourages burning,” Dr Bhandari pointed out.
If required a blanket or heavy sheet of cloth should be thrown over the victim so as to cut off oxygen supply quickly, he added.
Care must be taken so as not to cover the face of the victim so as to allow them to breathe.
“The burn area should be protected from further injuries. In most of the burn cases, except those that are caused by electric shock, the injured area must be washed with running normal tap water to cool the affected area,” he advised.
He further emphasised that in the case a burn is caused by electrocution, the first thing that a rescuer must do is to cut off the electric supply and then attend to the patent.
In case the rescuers are unable to locate the main switch, then they should use insulated staff like wood to separate the victim.
“Never touch a burn victim of electricity without ensuring that the power supply is cut off,” he cautioned.
Applying ointments or ‘coolants’ like toothpaste etc. must be avoided as they hamper the attending medics from assessing the degree of injury and delay timely action, he said.
In case of a burn injury, one should try not to break the blisters, as the blister prevents infections.
“Victim must be covered with a clean sheet and then rushed to the nearby treatment centre and seek professional help,” he added.
“Most of the victims of burn injury usually come from socioeconomically deprived classes. Recovery from burns takes a long time and is an expensive affair, especially in private hospitals,” he further added.