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Diwali turns dark for many as they suffer burns,eye injuries

Gurnam Singh,16,a resident of Jind,Haryana,is waiting for a miracle,standing outside the emergency of the Advanced Eye Centre at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.

At the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital,Sector 16,as many as 71 patients injured by firecrackers were treated

Gurnam Singh,16,a resident of Jind,Haryana,is waiting for a miracle,standing outside the emergency of the Advanced Eye Centre at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Singh’s right eye was badly damaged due to a ‘bullet’ firecracker on Friday night. Accompanied by his 28-year-old brother Dalbeer Singh and brother-in-law Lovely,he is still not able to comprehend how the festival of lights turned into a nightmare for the family.

Gurnam was bursting crackers with his friends on Diwali when a cracker exploded and hit him in the right eye. As blood started oozing out,he was taken to a private hospital from where the doctors referred him to another hospital. Gurnam says,“The doctors at the second hospital gave me some more tablets. I went to home for the night and this morning I went to a hospital in Patiala from where they shifted me to PGI.”

His relatives rue that they had never imagined that such a disaster would happen on Diwali and the celebrations would turn gloomy. With the eye having been severely damaged,they are praying for a miracle.

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Gurnam is not alone battling for sight at the Advanced Eye Centre at PGIMER. He is one of seven patients who badly damaged their eyes with firecrackers on the Diwali festival. Nearly 130 persons,according to the three hospitals in Chandigarh,have received injuries due to these firecrackers.

“We have already operated in five cases where the eyes were badly damaged,” said Dr Anupam at PGIMER. “In total,we received 21 firecracker injuries out of which five patients were operated on.” She adds that of the 21 treated in the eye unit,eight were by-standers and 13 were those who were bursting crackers.

PGIMER Head of Opthalmology Professor Amod Gupta said that the Advanced Eye Centre had put doctors on special emergency duty round the clock at the Centre from Thursday morning to cater to eye emergencies . “From the morning of November 4 to the morning of November,7 set up an emergency centre to attend to the patients on arrival,” Dr Gupta said,adding that last year around 40 patients with eye injuries were treated at the eye centre in the PGIMER during the Diwali festival.

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Fourteen-year-old Nikhil was hit in the left eye while bursting crackers and would have to be operated upon. The blood stains are still visible on his clothes and his mother Reka is sitting beside him shell shocked.

“Nikhil was hit on left eye while he was playing with firecrackers at his aunt’s place in Nandyali village. They immediately took him to a hospital in Ambala from where he was referred to PGI. We have been told that surgery is required; so we are waiting for it,” said Rekha. “

The four who have been operated upon at the Advanced Eye Centre included two bystanders R Mukam,35,and Abdul Hamid,65,from Chandigarh,Yagwinder,18,from Sangrur and Rishav,12,from Moga. “When Rishav was going to light a firecracker on Friday evening,an unexploded firecracker exploded which hit him with force. We took him to the hospital at Kotakpura where from we were shifted to the PGI,” said Rishav’s uncle Praveen Rinku.

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At the Government Medical College and Hospital,Sector 32,around 36 patients were treated. The hospital received 10 eye injuries due to fire crackers. Around 26 persons who had received burn injuries were treated at the hospital and were discharged.

“All the patients were discharged after a thorough examination and treatment. They were also given adequate advice regarding post-burn care,” said the Medical Superintendent of GMCH.

At the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital,Sector 16,as many as 71 patients injured by firecrackers were treated. Those injured included also 10 eye injuries out of which two were referred to PGIMER. Two boys with burn injuries were also treated at the hospital.

Last year 147 persons were injured by firecrackers. In 2008 and 2007 the number of injured was 123 and 150 respectively.

First published on: 07-11-2010 at 05:50:49 am
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