50 receive vision-threatening injuries from fireworks

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2015 10:09 IST
A patient at the PGI in Chandigarh. (Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo)

Diwali night turned into a nightmare for many people who have suffered severe eye injuries. A large number of patients are undergoing treatment at different government hospitals in the city. Those with critical injuries have been admitted to Advanced Eye Centre (AEC), PGIMER.

Bursting crackers amid Diwali celebrations proved to be a horrendous experience for eight-year-old Madhav Garg, who ended up damaging both of his eyes. Admitted to AEC, PGIMER, he is enduring ‘unbearable’ pain with blisters on the surface of his eyes.

Madhav is the youngest among the 50 people who have suffered vision-threatening injuries.

Dr Jagat Ram, head, ophthalmology department, AEC, said, “Madhav went to ignite a cracker which exploded in no time, leaving his eyes damaged.”

According to Dr Jagat Ram, Madhav has a very severe bilateral eye injury. The child has been examined under anaesthesia and is still under examination. “There are blisters on the surface of his eyes and whenever we try to examine him, he cries in pain. We cannot give him anaesthesia on regular basis, hence will examine him after two days,” he said.

From November 10 to 12, a total of 33 eye injury cases were reported at AEC, of which 23 were related to Diwali celebrations. Ten eye injury patients were bystanders.

More than 50% of them have suffered severe vision-threatening injuries, including internal damage to eye which would require further surgical interventions.

“Eye injuries were sustained by all the patients. Eight patients had serious open globe injury who underwent primary surgical repair on the night of Diwali. The injury of three is critical,” said Dr Deeksha Katoch, who was on duty on Diwali night.

The patients with critical injuries include Bhura, 28, from Saharanpur, UP; Rudesh K Pandey, 35, from Sohana; and Dalvir Singh, 22, from Punjab. All have sustained open globe injuries.

“I ignited a bomb and was about to run when it exploded, damaging my right eye. I rushed to civil hospital in Saharanpur from where they referred me to PGI,” said Bhura.

Another patient, 18-year-old Mohan from Patiala, damaged his left eye while bursting crackers. Majority of the patients with firecracker injuries are male.

“Out of 23 patients, 21 were male. The two were bystanders who didn’t burst crackers. The data shows that men burst more crackers and hence suffer more injuries than women,” said Dr Jagat Ram.

PGI officials revealed that a large number of eye injury patients rushed to the trauma centre were young. “17 patients were above 12, and six were under 12,” said the doctor.

At Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, 15 eye injury cases were reported on the Diwali night, two of them were critical. “One of the two is a 12-year-old and the other a 45-year-old. Eyeballs of both the patients have ruptured and chances of regaining vision is very less,” said Dr Sunandan Sood, head, ophthalmology department, GMCH-32.

At GMSH-16, total 15 eye injury cases were reported.

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