Gas Explosions Contribute to 35% of Burn Cases at Korle Bu

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Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah, the Chief Executive Officer of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has revealed that thirty-five percent of burn cases admitted to the hospital are attributed to gas explosions, primarily due to the improper use of domestic liquified petroleum gas (LPG). He emphasized that although domestic LPG cylinders are not meant to be stored indoors, it has been observed that many individuals disregard this safety measure.

Furthermore, Dr. Ampomah highlighted the dangerous practice of placing stones on regulators instead of ensuring proper servicing to prevent leakages. He emphasized the urgency of addressing domestic fire safety issues and pediatric burn prevention campaigns, spearheaded by the Public Health Alliance International Ghana (PHAIG).

The campaign aims to reduce pediatric burn incidents, raise awareness about child safety and burn management, and raise funds to support pediatric burn patients in the country. Dr. Ampomah also cautioned the public to exercise caution with electrical devices, particularly during frequent power outages, as power surges can lead to domestic fires.

He stressed that burn injuries, while significant and traumatic, are largely preventable, with 80% of incidents stemming from carelessness by victims or caregivers. Dr. Ampomah advocated for both primary and secondary preventive strategies, including personal education, enforcing building regulations, such as proper design and compartmentation in public buildings to contain fires, and implementing measures that have proven effective in other high-income countries.

He also talked about the need for people to change or check the wiring in their homes.

He said burns accounted for about 300,000 deaths around the world every year, pointing out that whereas in the developed world mortality from burns was about 0.8 per 100,000 population, that of other parts of the world was 10.3 per 100,000 population.

He said aside from the fact that people could lose their lives from burns, for those who survived, it could cause disfiguring, especially in the face, which led to stigmatisation.


Furthermore, he said burns could cause loss of vision and difficulty in breathing when it occurred around the nose, and the scars were prone to forming cancers 10 or more years after the injury.

For females who suffer injuries on their chests, Dr Ampomah explained that at puberty, because their scarred skin could not contain their growth, they would have to undergo surgery to enable their breasts to develop.

In Ghana, Dr Ampomah said a look at epidemiology showed that over 50 per cent of burns occurred in children, with the commonest cause being hot liquids either in the kitchen or bathroom.

He, therefore, called for the kitchen to be out of bounds for children, adding that it should not be a play area for them.

He mentioned things that predisposed children to burns to include placing hot liquids on a table that had table cloth and placing liquid chemicals such as acid in open places where children could easily access them.

The Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Life Sciences Limited, Dhananjay Tripathi, said one of the glaring challenges faced by burns patients was the difficulty in obtaining the best and most appropriate treatment, adding that in many cases, the expertise and resources required for optimal care might be scarce, leading to suboptimal outcomes and prolonged suffering.


The Vice President of PHAIG, Dr Samuel Nuamah, said the budget for the campaign was projected at $1,524,153.19, adding that the strategic roadmap for the campaign which was in phases, included stakeholder engagement and research, training workshops and research, nationwide publicity and awareness, support to burn victims, and project evaluation and research.

Source: Graphic online


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