Sion Hospital conducted a study on injuries sustained by govindas during Janmashtami festivities last Friday, and found that of the 270 people injured, 15% were under the influence of alcohol.
The study revealed that a majority of injured govindas were residents of Ghatkopar, Chembur, Mulund, Mahim and Bandra.
The study was conducted across 19 civic hospitals in the city to understand the nature of dahi handi related injuries, in a bid to formulate guidelines for better safety measures.
"We have observed that most mandals participate to achieve records, which is not a healthy trend. There should be a limit on the height of human pyramids, which will automatically help in reducing injuries," said Dr R Chaturvedi, head of the preventive and social medicine (PSM) department, Sion Hospital.
He added that the government should issue guidelines restricting the height the pyramids in order to reduce the injuries.
The study revealed that despite a rise in the number of injured victims this year (see box), serious injuries have decreased drastically. "There is definitely more awareness among the general population about injuries during dahi handi.
This year we have seen people using safety gear such as helmets which was not the case last year," said Chaturvedi, adding that 25% of those injured used some kind of protective gear.
Last year, of the 148 people brought in with injuries at three major civic hospitals including KEM, Nair and Sion, only 18.5% used protective gear.
"This year we have seen less patients with head and spine related injuries because of the use of protective gear and better training. Majority of them have suffered from fractures," said Dr Vijay Singh who conducted the study along with Dr Smita Chavan, and Dr Rohan Naik, from the PSM department of Sion Hospital.
Doctors said that 17% of the govindas reported the availability of ambulance facilities for transporting them to the hospital. Last year only 2.5% people reported the availability of an ambulance.