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Heat Wave Causing Surge in Ailments as Patients Flock Hospitals

A man sleeps under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day.

A man sleeps under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day.

Medical Superitendent of Safdarjung Hospital A K Rai said that apart from fever, the hospital is getting a lot of cases of gastroenteritis.

New Delhi: Intense heat wave sweeping across the city has spiked cases of heat exhaustion and gastro- intestinal disorders with several patients visiting hospitals complaining of fever, vomiting, dehydration and diarrhoea.

According to AIIMS Director M C Mishra, there is a surge in the number of patients coming to the hospital's emergency ward seeking treatment for heat-related ailments.

"The soaring temperature has caused a surge in heat exhaustion cases in the past one week. Also, there is a hike in the number of patients being brought to the emergency ward with complaints of fever, vomiting, dehydration and diarrhoea.

"Heat exhaustion happens due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures in combination with dehydration. But in this condition, the patients don't fall unconscious. They come with symptoms like throbbing headache, dizziness, vomiting, disorientation," Mishra said.

Medical Superitendent of Safdarjung Hospital AK Rai said that apart from fever, the hospital is getting a lot of cases of gastroenteritis.

"There is an increase in the number of people sickened by infectious gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by a bacteria or virus. Symptoms in such cases include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea along with fever.

"Extreme heat may even worsen pre-existing diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. Heatstroke also leads to kidney disfunctioning. In some cases, patients are brought in such critical conditions that they have to be admitted in the ICU," Rai said.

According to Rai, children are worst hit as they fall ill fast.

"One should avoid street food and juices bought off streets which lead to gastrointestinal disorders in such hot weather. Due to bacterial actions, even home cooked food items gets spoiled fast if left in open for long. So one should eat freshly cooked food and consume a lot of water," he said.

"We are getting patients who have suffered heat exhaution and they are being treated. We administer a lot of fluid to hydrate them and cool them down," said B K Rao, Chairman, critical care at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Mishra said, "People should take adequate fluids and keep themselves hydrated. They should use adequate protection while venturing out," he said. The day temperature in Delhi on Thursday was 43 degree Celsius while the mercury on Wednesday had crossed the 46 degree Celsius mark.


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