Burn admissions have reduced by almost 43 per cent at a Delhi government hospital in the last 10 years.
A 15-year-long study, conducted in two phases by researchers at Delhi government’s Lok Nayak Hospital, shows a significant fall in the number of kitchen burns, thanks to the shift from kerosene stoves to modern LPG burners.
“The incidence and profile of burns directly reflect on the economic development of the society,” said Dr R.B. Ahuja, head, department of burns, plastic and micro-vascular surgery at Lok Nayak Hospital.
“Women are more prone to burn injuries at home due to domestic violence and exposure to LPG,” he said.
The study of 16,762 patients admitted at Lok Nayak Hospital between 1993 and 2007 shows a significant decline in cases of burns in the kitchen, from 897.5 (1993-2000) to 368.43 patients (2001-07). But in all the cases, kitchen is the main location for fire mishaps.
The study shows a decline in the number of women getting burnt in the second phase, with the overall women to men ratio changing from 1.26:1 to 0.91:1.
The overall burns deaths also dropped from 51.8 per cent to 40.2 per cent in phase II.
According to researchers, India has 0.4 million burn victims every year, of which 50 per cent die within the first 30 days.
“Burn injuries are primarily accidents of poverty,” said Dr Ahuja.
“At least in India, burns morbidity can be easily comparable to HIV morbidity. Huge burns load exists in poor India and sadly the government provides no funds for rehabilitating these victims,” he said.