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Man suffers burns in Haryana; doctors say use alcohol-based sanitizer wisely

The high ethyl alcohol content in the product at 62 per cent in some cases makes hand sanitizer highly inflammable and prone to burns.

PTI | New Delhi |

A Haryana man suffered 35 per cent burn injuries when he accidentally came in contact with fire in his kitchen while cleaning household items with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, doctors said.

The 44-year-old man from Rewari was brought to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here on Sunday night after the incident.

“The man was at home and cleaning his household items like keys and mobile phone. He was in the kitchen area when at the same time his wife was cooking food. Suddenly, he spilled some sanitizer on his ‘kurta’. The fumes from the sanitizer reached the cooking gas source and before anybody could react his ‘kurta’ caught fire,” the hospital said in a statement.

Hand sanitizer is being used at regular intervals by people on recommendation of doctors to ward-off infection from coronavirus that has wreaked havoc globally.

The man was brought to the hospital with 35 per cent burn injuries. The patient suffered burn injuries on his face, neck, front of chest , abdomen and both hands, the doctors said.

The man is being treated in the department of plastic and cosmetic surgery and his condition is “stable”, hospital authorities said.

According to Mahesh Mangal, Chairman, Department of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, “Although hand sanitizer is absolutely essential, we strongly advise that alcohol-based sanitiser must be used very carefully.”

“The high ethyl alcohol content in the product — up to 62 per cent in some cases — makes hand sanitizer highly inflammable and prone to burns. One should never use sanitizer near fire area or any heating place. It should be used in sufficient quantity and allowed to dry,” he added.

Demand for hand sanitizer has grown significantly in the market with the spread of COVID-19 that has affected more than 1,000 people across India.