Yasi burns warning
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