Yasi burns warn­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Natalie Wynne wynne@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

TOWNSVILLE r esi dents have been burn­ing them­selves by throw­ing fuel on fires in post-Cy­clone Yasi burn-offs.

The dan­ger­ous prac­tice has prompted a warn­ing from a trauma spe­cial­ist fol­low­ing an alarm­ing rise i n b u r n s c a s u a l t i e s a t Townsville Hos­pi­tal.

Hos­pi­tal trauma ser­vice di­rec­tor David Cook­sley said he was con­cerned at the ris­ing num­ber of burns pre­sen­ta­tions af­ter peo­ple used ac­cel­er­ants to burn off rub­bish af­ter the cy­clone.

‘‘ There ap­pears to be an in­flux since Cy­clone Yasi,’’ he said.

‘‘ We’ve had five peo­ple ad­mit­ted with burns re­lated to post-Yasi clean-up ac­tiv­ity, four of which were due to peo­ple throw­ing petrol on fire.

‘‘ Forty-four peo­ple have come to the hos­pi­tal of which 10 were im­me­di­ately a d mi t t e d w i t h s e r i o u s burns.

‘‘ That’s a high num­ber with petrol burns who have come in but not all ( were) se­vere enough to be ad­mit­ted,’’ he said.

Dr Cook­sley said there had been a lot of peo­ple work­ing with fu­els to clear away dam­age.

‘ ‘ W o r k i n g w i t h a c c - el­er­ants is an ex­tremely dan­ger­ous trend,’’ he said.

‘‘ What peo­ple don’t re­alise is that petrol can blow back at you.

‘‘ The heat gen­er­ated is enough to se­verely dam­age your skin, you get blis­ter­ing and you can start get­ting scar­ring and if it’s deeper still, the only way you can re­cover is skin graft­ing.’’

Dr Cook­sley said burns could cause many long-term phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and so­cial prob­lems, while the r e c o v e r y p r o c e s s f o r se­ri­ous burns was sig­nif­i­cant.

‘‘ The thing with burns a lot of peo­ple don’t re­alise is the long-term suf­fer­ing they can cause, the re­hab and treat­ment can go on for years,’’ he said.

He said his mes­sage res­i­dents was sim­ple.

‘‘ Don’t throw ac­cel­er­ants on to fire,’’ he said.

‘‘ Se­vere burns are ever.’’


for- PLAY­ING WITH FIRE: Dr David Cook­sley has warned of the dan­gers of us­ing ac­cel­er­ants to burn cy­clone rub­bish

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