Changing economy, changing traditions, changing trauma.


Dear Editor, Cultural practices and beliefs have long been known to affect modern medical practice. Effect of cultural and ethnic difference on pain perception and need for local anesthetics for tooth drilling and childbirth are established. Social changes have led to psychiatric conditions arising out of cultural trauma. Now it appears that these changing socio-cultural practices are giving rise to new modes of physical trauma also. With the growing economy in India, people have become richer and are adopting rituals from different culture and religion. Traditionally, wedding in the majority of Hindus did not include a display of fireworks. Now it has become a regular feature in almost all weddings. Not only does it cause environmental pollution, but also it gives rise to novel injuries. A 7-year-old child got injured (Fig. 1) when a firecracker (called ‘Rocket’ locally) that was supposed to go up in the air and get blasted, got misdirected and burst near her head. It caused unconsciousness along with fractured skull and contusion of the frontal lobe (Fig. 2). The wound was explored under general anaesthesia and the fractured pieces of bone were removed along with repair of the dura. The child made an uneventful recovery and had no neurological deficit when she last visited the hospital. Understanding of trauma and resilience as experienced in the lives of individuals from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds might differ. A young child suffered physically and might be exposed to posttraumatic stress disorders. Unnecessary exposure to this type of threat might culminate into social disapproval. It seems that novel modes of injury have become the other face of socioeconomic change!

DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.12148

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Cite this paper

@article{Dubey2013ChangingEC, title={Changing economy, changing traditions, changing trauma.}, author={Prakash Kumar Dubey}, journal={Emergency medicine Australasia : EMA}, year={2013}, volume={25 6}, pages={618} }