Suicides are second worst killer; Accidents third in taking lives
BURNS is the leading cause of death among people between the age group of 15 and 34 years in Bangalore. And, it is more prevalent among women with fatal injuries, states a report.
Men in the 26-30 age group showed were a greater tendency to suffer burns, states the the 2009 Bengaluru Road Safety and Injury Prevention Programme released by NIMHANS. Suicide and transport crashes are the second and third main causes of death for both men and women of the same age group.
The report indicates that burns, which could be accidental, suicidal or homicidal, contributes 21.43 per cent of all fatal injuries in urban areas and 7.36 per cent in rural areas.
According to the police database, 788 burn deaths were reported in the City in 2009.
The report points burn and fire injuries being responsible for about 500 deaths, 5,000 serious injujries and 15-20,000 minor injuries.
The programme found that Victoria Hospital, which has a burns ward, registered 715 deaths, 1,566 hospitalisations and 1,911 minor injuries during January 1 and December 31, 2009. One-third of them were suicidal in nature, six percent homicidal and 60 percent reported as accidents.
Burns at home
Interestingly, three fourth of the burns deaths and injuries occurred at home, while the remaining were seen in industrial areas and other places. A majority of them were reported as stove bursts and accidental burns and occurred inside the house with kerosene stoves, gas cylinders, oil lamps, cooking materials and hot liquids identified as the primary agents.
However, the causes of burns were not clearly known in majority of the cases. In administering first aid, the report mentioned that 25 per cent of the first aid in burns injuries was done at the injured site and 75 per cent at nearby private hospital or nursing home.
In conclusion, the report proposed to establish a Burns registry in a leading centres in the State. It also suggested that improving socio-economic conditions of households, making safer stoves available, safe electricity connections and electrical products, family education programmes would drastically help reduce the numbers.
(Published in Deccan Herald on 7th March, 2010)