City reports rise in eye injuries but decline in burns cases compared to last year

As every year, the festival of lights has turned out to be a dark one for several people. Despite a decline in sale of firecrackers, the number of eye injuries reported in leading eye hospitals across the city appears to be higher than last year’s figures, doctors stated.

While burns cases showed a decline, two critical cases were reported. In all at least 160 people, mostly children, suffered from eye injuries (44 reported on Wednesday till evening) and at least 10 with burn injuries, who will be scarred for life.

Girls critical

Two young girls were admitted in the State-run Victoria Hospital with over 40 per cent burns and their condition is said to be critical. “Both of the separate incidents occurred while they were burning sparklers and their clothes caught fire,” said Smitha Segu, in charge of burns ward.

She said the hospital has received 10 burns cases but so far, this figure was the lowest in five years.

Although several awareness programmes had been launched on the eve of the festival, several leading eye hospitals have reported an increase in the number of cases over last year.

The State-run Minto Ophthalmic Hospital is treating a nine-year-old boy, who lost his vision in a cracker blast. Shivaprasad Reddy, director, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, said 12 cases were reported in his hospital on Wednesday, taking the total to 22 since Tuesday night.

Some private hospitals across the city The Hindu contacted also reported an increase in the number of eye injuries. Bhujang Shetty, chairperson of Narayana Nethralaya, said the number of cases reported in his hospital chain were more than that of last year, while number of serious cases has doubled. “Four patients admitted at our hospital have suffered sight-threatening injuries.” A majority of the cases were children below 16.

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