People have donated food and beverages to disaster relief workers at the scene yesterday, while donation accounts have been set up
By Chiu Chih-jou / Staff reporter
The Taiwan Society for Burn Injuries yesterday said that there was more 150,000cm2 of human cadaveric skin in reserve for the 98 people who were injured when a fire broke out at a golf equipment factory in Pingtung County on Friday evening.
Healthcare workers in southern Taiwan have been mobilized to assist in treating the injured Taiwan Society for Burn Injuries chairperson Huang Hui-fu (黃慧夫) said, adding that it was his understanding that hospitals in southern Taiwan have sufficient capacity, but medical centers in northern Taiwan were preparing to take in referred patients if needed.
Huang said that he had suggested establishing a national human cadaveric skin bank after the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙海岸) water park blast in 2015.
Photo courtesy of a reader
The bank was set up by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2019 and would be useful after the Pingtung blaze, he said.
After severe burn wounds are debrided, the open wounds are at risk of bacterial infection and even sepsis, so the wound should be covered as soon as possible, Huang said.
Usually skin grafts are done on the third to fifth day after a burn injury, he added.
More than 500 people were burned in the Formosa Fun Coast blast, so the government had to import 700,000cm2 of human cadaveric skin, meaning it could only be used 15 days after the accident, Huang said, adding that the 150,000cm2 of human cadaveric skin in the bank should be sufficient for those hurt in the Pingtung blaze.
Taipei Veterans General Hospital deputy superintendent and plastic surgeon Ma Hsu (馬旭) said that burns are one of the most traumatic injuries, as the treatment process is complicated and long, debridement and skin grafts are needed to ensure recovery without infection, and patients need long-term rehabilitation, psychotherapy and support from family and friends.
Separately, the Ministry of Justice’s Institute of Forensic Medicine said that it would work under the instruction of the Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office to complete an inspection report as soon as possible.
It was reported that the body parts of some victims would be difficult to identify, so to ensure the victims’ family members are treated with respect, their identities would mainly be determined by prosecutors, although follow-up DNA testing of biological specimens would be conducted.
As the fire had not been completely put out as of 2pm yesterday, and search and rescue operations were continuing, people brought food and beverages for the disaster relief workers.
A woman surnamed Yang (楊) who brought 200 drinks said that she saw the news and wanted to buy icy beverages for the police officers and fire fighters.
As several firefighters died fighting the blaze on Friday, the Lin Rong San Charity Foundation, the Union Bank of Taiwan, the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) and RSL Hotel and Resorts together donated NT$10 million (US$311,313) for their family members of the victims.
The Pingtung County Government yesterday said that those wishing to make a donation for the “0922 blast incident” can transfer funds to Bank of Taiwan’s Pingtung Branch (臺灣銀行屏東分行), account number 017000000000.
The name of the account, which must be provided in Chinese characters, is “屏東縣縣庫存款戶” (Pingtung County deposit account), and “0922火災爆炸事件捐款” (0922 fire blast incident donation) or “0922火災爆炸事件捐助警消人員” (0922 fire blast incident donation for helping police and firefighters) should be written in the footnote, it said.
For online donations, it said people can click on “0922 fire blast incident donation” or “0922 fire blast incident donation for helping police and firefighters” on the Pingtung County Department of Social Affairs’ Web page at https://sadonation.pthg.gov.tw/Index2.aspx
Additional reporting by Huang Chia-lin and CNA
Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.