Business Standard

Increase in patients at Delhi hospitals due to extreme cold weather


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Hospitals across Delhi reported a surge in the number of patients suffering from respiratory complications and other ailments with the national capital experiencing an intense spell of cold wave over the past one week and the pollution touching "severe" levels.
Delhi recorded its coldest day ever in the month of December on Monday, with the maximum temperature being at just 9.4 degrees Celsius.
According to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, there has been a rise of 15-20 per cent in the number of patients visiting out-patient departments (OPDs) or emergencies with respiratory and cardiac ailments.
"The cold in Delhi at present is more severe than the hilly regions and with the mercury dipping, there is an increase of almost 15-20 per cent in the number of patients in OPD," Guleria said.
He said people should take precautions as in such extreme weathers one may develop bronchitis and young children and older people may also get pneumonia. Patients suffering from heart problems also are at risk. Some may even face hypothermia, a medical emergency when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.
Guleria said extreme cold also leads to increased cases of influenza, viral infections among others and advised people to keep themselves properly covered while going out and go for morning walks when the temperatures go higher.
The Centre-run RML and Safdarjung hospitals also saw around 20 per cent increase in the number of patients in OPDs.
"Patients are coming with complaints of influenza, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, exacerbation of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments," said Minakshi Bharadwaj, medical superintendent of RML hospital, adding children and those above the age of 60 are the worst affected.
Dr Minakshi elaborated that heart attacks and strokes are more common in the winters and those with existing heart problems have a higher risk and should take precautions.
Exposure to cold temperatures causes blood vessels to constrict and may reduce blood flow to the heart, which can lead to increase in blood pressure. One should avoid going out in such extreme cold weather conditions and wear layers of clothing to keep themselves warm.
According to a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital, heat is also lost through the head, hands and feet and thus one should stay properly covered.

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First Published: Dec 30 2019 | 6:40 PM IST

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