Home is where the accidents are
A man came to the emergency room with two-degree burns on his face and neck. Turns out he had wanted to surprise his wife by making fritters, but ended up having hot oil splashed on himself. Work from home, online classes for kids, changing working structures at corporate firms and salary cuts are bringing forth new emergencies for doctors to deal with.
Dr Srikanth V, Consultant – Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery, Manipal Hospital, said, “There has been a significant increase in the home accidents. One of the worst cases that is happening often is people trying to fix their grinders, while the switch is on. I have seen three-four such cases in a day for the past few months. This is because electronics stores are shut, so people try to repair things themselves. I have seen people with injuries in their hands as they try to rotate the blades of the grinder and it suddenly comes on.”
Head of plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery at Sagar Hospitals, Dr Karan Shetty, said he too has been seeing bizarre cases from April and has conducted over 50-80 surgeries in a month.
Dr Shetty said, “We got 15-20 home accident cases in a month as compared to just 1-2 earlier. Earlier too there would be cases of children falling off or minor kitchen accidents, but the surge seems to be due to rising stress and anxiety issues pertaining to the lockdown.”
Some of the cases he attended to are: An IT professional wanted to make hot vadas for her husband and ended up with 2nd degree burns on their face and neck, a man chopping vegetables had chopped off the tip of his finger, an older lady had cut her palm while cutting vegetables, a middle-aged man, who wanted to get back to his hobby of wood carving, had cut his index finger in the machine, a five-year-old girl had burnt her thigh, abdomen and forearms as hot milk fell on her and four cases of children slipping and injuring their chin and forehead.
“These are the kinds of cases I have been dealing with from the last two months. I would say the rise in such cases can be due to boredom, depression, anger and rage or even excitement sometimes. People are just sitting at home and as they are bound within four walls, they end up doing things they are not adept at,” said Dr Shetty.
He added that there was a rise in domestic violence cases too. “Due to a dispute, a man had stabbed his young neighbor. Mostly such cases come to the emergencies and then are referred to us,” he said.
Dr Shetty said though home accidents used to be reported earlier too the frequency has become steady over the past two months.
Another doctor said a case reported was that of an elderly woman who succumbed to 90 degree burns as her sari caught fire when she was doing puja at home. Her son, who was in Ireland, couldn’t come for her last rites too.
He said two-three incidents of depression-related wrist slitting were reported at the hospital.