Fireworks-related injuries in W. Visayas rise on NYE 2023

Thousands of tourists watch the fireworks display to welcome the New Year at the beachfront of the world-famous Boracay Island. (Malay-Boracay Tourism Office)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

More folks suffered from fireworks-related injuries (FWRIs) in the Western Visayas region in ushering in 2023 compared to last year, according to the latest data by the Department of Health-Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH-WV CHD) released on Sunday.

As of Dec 31, 2022, the DOH-WV CHD recorded 53 FWRIs, including 13 from sentinel sites and 40 from non-sentinel sites. The latest number is higher than the cumulative figures between 2021 and 2022 with 34 incidents.

The most number of FWRIs in the region were in Iloilo province (20), followed by Negros Occidental (19), Bacolod City (4), Aklan (3), Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo City (2 each), and Capiz (1).

New additions to the tally as of Dec 31, 2022 include 2 cases in sentinel sites and 13 cases in non-sentinel sites.

Sentinel hospitals, or those which are included in the DOH’s national FWRI surveillance tally, reported 13 cases, which was the same as the 2021-2022 cumulative tally (13). The incidents included 5 in Iloilo province, 3 each in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, and 2 in Iloilo City.

The sentinel sites include the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) in Bacolod City, the Western Visayas Sanitarium (WVS) in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, and the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) and Iloilo Mission Hospital (IMH) in Iloilo City.

Only one case was confined to the hospital, while the rest were treated and sent home.

Cases in these sites indicated at least one case each in the Iloilo towns of Dingle, Leganes, Oton, New Lucena, and Santa Barbara, and in Manapla, Salvador Benedicto, and Victorias City in Negros Occidental.

Based on age groups, 8 of these sentinel cases were between 1 and 10 years old, 4 are aged between 11 and 20 years old, and the remaining 1 is within the 21- to 30-year-old age range.

Only 1 case out of the 13 cases is a female, aged between 1 to 10, while the rest were all males. Their injuries were either eye injuries (7) or blasts or burns with no amputation (6).

Almost half of the cases (6) were caused by “boga” cannons, while others were either “camara” or other types (2 each), or “five-star”, “super lolo”, or “candle bomb” (1 each).

In non-sentinel hospitals, or those not logged by the DOH central office but are in the regional office data, 16 were in Negros Occidental, 15 in Iloilo province, 3 in Aklan, 2 in Guimaras, and 1 each in Bacolod City and Capiz.

The towns and cities with injured residents in non-sentinel sites include:

–          Aklan – Libacao, Malay, and New Washington (1 each);

–          Antique – Anini-y, Hamtic, and San Jose de Buenavista (1 each);

–          Capiz – Panitan (2);

–          Guimaras – Buenavista and Nueva Valencia (1 each);

–          Iloilo province – Lemery (2), and Cabatuan, Calinog, Dueñas, Lambunao, Maasin, Mina, Passi City, Pototan, San Enrique, San Joaquin, San Miguel, Sara, and Zarraga (1 each);

–          Negros Occidental – Bago City (2), and Binalbagan, Calatrava, Cauayan, Escalante City, Hinigaran, Isabela, Kabankalan City, Murcia, Sagay City, San Carlos City, San Enrique, and Silay City (1 each); and

–          Bacolod City (1).

Most of the injuries from non-sentinel hospitals were blasts or burns with no amputation (16), eye injuries (9) and blasts or burns with either amputation or eye injury (1 each).

Like in sentinel hospitals, “boga” cannons (20) were also the majority cause of FWRIs sent to non-sentinel hospitals, but also logged were triangle (5), five-star, “kwitis”, and other types (4 each), “camara” (2), and whistle bomb, “super lolo” and an unknown type of firework (1 each).

Many non-sentinel FWRI cases were treated and sent home (22), while 4 were referred to another hospital, and 1 was admitted.

The age group with the most FWRIs logged in non-sentinel hospitals was 11 to 20 years old (20), followed by 1 to 10 years (13), 41 to 50 years (4), 21 to 30 years (3), and 31 to 40 years and 41 to 50 years (1 each).

Non-sentinel hospitals which received FWRIs include:

–          Don Valerio Palmares Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Passi City, Iloilo (3);

–          Sara District Hospital in Sara, Iloilo (3);

–          Ignacio L. Arroyo Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Isabela, Negros Occidental (3);

–          San Carlos City Hospital in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental (2);

–          Bago City Hospital in Bago City, Negros Occidental (2);

–          Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan, Iloilo (2);

–          Vicente Gustilo District Hospital in Escalante City, Negros Occidental (2);

–          Bailan District Hospital in Panitan, Capiz (2);

–          Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan, Iloilo (2);

–          Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique (2);

–          President Diosdado Macapagal District Hospital in Tobias Fornier, Antique (1);

–          Merceditas J. Montilla District Hospital in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Valladolid District Hospital in Valladolid, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Lorenzo D. Zayco District Hospital in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Buenavista Emergency Hospital in Buenavista, Guimaras (1);

–          Dr. Ricardo Y. Ladrido District Hospital in Lambunao, Iloilo (1);

–          Binalbagan Infirmary in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Zarraga Rural Health Unit in Zarraga, Iloilo (1);

–          Don Salvador Benedicto Memorial District Hospital in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Malay Municipal Hospital in Malay, Aklan (1);

–          Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog, Iloilo (1);

–          Libacao Municipal Infirmary in Libacao, Aklan (1);

–          Alfredo E. Marañon Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Sagay City, Negros Occidental (1);

–          San Joaquin Mother and Child Hospital in San Joaquin, Iloilo (1);

–          Nueva Valencia District Hospital in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras (1);

–          Silay City Health Office in Silay City, Negros Occidental (1);

–          Murcia Rural Health Unit in Murcia, Negros Occidental (1); and

–          Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, Iloilo (1).