The number of fireworks-related injuries may have drastically been reduced this year, but the Department of Health still warned the public not to ignore 'small' injuries which can still cause tetanus.

These injuries should be given serious attention, no matter how small, and this includes consulting with health providers to receive proper wound care.

“Blast wound injuries have always been closely associated with tetanus infection,” Secretary of Health Francisco Duque III said, as he stressed the importance of post-exposure prophylaxis against tetanus.

This prophylaxis, he pointed out, has become a standard procedure for combatants who suffer a break in their skin.

So far, there have been 362 fireworks injuries since December 21 last year. Twelve cases involved amputations and 61 had eye injuries.

The good news is that there were no stray bullet injuries nor fireworks ingestion.

And while there was a 68 percent drop in cases, the DOH warned that there could be more.

“It is quite possible that there were many more firecracker injuries in the past than those actually recorded and reported because many such victims did not go to health facilities for treatment of their injuries,” Secretary Duque said.

Small cuts related to blasts should still be seen to and treated, as it can lead to tetanus infection, according to DOH undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo. Tetanus infection is highly fatal.

And though it could increase their tally of injuries, Secretary Duque said that it is more important for everybody who suffered injuries to come for treatment.

“Tetanus infection is a serious health problem that should be prevented or dealt with as soon as possible,” he added.

Health professionals at emergency rooms and outpatient departments in all government hospitals are trained and equipped to treat tetanus infection and injuries caused by fireworks and other causes, Secretary Duque reminded the public.

The DOH is targeting an 80 to 100 percent decrease in injuries next year. MIMS