With many festivals round the corner its boom time for fireworks. We can never imagine diwali without fireworks. Pongal or karthigai also have their share of fireworks. Then of course the usual rigmarole of India – Pakistan cricket matches where even cricket stadia aren’t exempted from fireworks. Last but not the least, private functions like marriages, birthdays and other occasions call for a climax with fire works!!!!
Almost everyone likes them at least from a distance. But apart from the phenomenal cost that goes into fireworks we fail to realize that fireworks are death sentences for the severely asthmatic people and the worst affected are children who literally choke to death during these ironically happy occasions.
Almost all major hospitals across the country report an increase in number of cases coming into their emergency rooms with acute respiratory failure during these festivals where unfortunately the victims themselves give history of lighting fireworks and inhaling a lot of smoke in the process.
The death rate is appalling during these festive times going up nearly thrice in some belts.
Breathlessness was the common feature in all cases. Some presented with status asthmaticus, severe respiratory distress and cardiac failure. In many cases resuscitation and asthma treatment was effective but some were severely hypoxic (starved of oxygen) that they were declared brain dead and life support withdrawn later.
While for many the season of festivals is the time to really unwind and enjoy, for an unfortunate few this becomes the dreaded period of the year where they fight for their lives against the killer respiratory diseases. Experts there fore warn everyone not to get carried away by the occasions and advice restraint and caution especially those who have had a previous episode of respiratory distress. So with festivals round the corner lets play it safe.
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