MANILA, Philippines - In anticipation of firecracker victims in the New Year, Health Secretary Enrique Ona made the rounds in hospitals Friday afternoon to check their level of readiness to attend and treat those who will be injured during the celebration.
All staff of all departments will be present at the East Avenue Medical Center.
This was confirmed by its emergency room head Dr. Emmanuel Bueno after saying that the hospital has received and treated a total of 14 firecracker-related injuries, including a 1-year-old child who accidentally swallowed a "Piccolo."
The hospital also showed members of the media images of such injuries in order to discourage the public from using firecrackers as a means of welcoming the New Year.
"Ang buong ER ay iko-convert sa mass casualty room kung kinakailangan," Bueno told members of the media.
As of December 27, a total of 27 firecracker-related injuries have been recorded by the department, which began monitoring even before Christmas. "Mula pa noong 23rd ng December, nagumpisa na kami magmonitor," Ona said.
Ona also said that it's too early to tell if the number of firecracker-related injuries has gone up as the celebration nears.
He did, however, express dismay over the number even before the peak of the celebration.
The DOH, in coordination with other hospitals, said it will continue to be on its toes to ensure that the number of injuries are diminished.