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Hospitals witness rise in patients suffering from respiratory disease post Diwali: Expert

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2021 20:14 IST

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): The hospitals in Delhi have witnessed a surge in patients with respiratory ailments due to pollution after Diwali.
Doctors in the hospitals located in the national capital said that the number of cases of respiratory diseases has increased due to pollution after the recent festivities.
Medical Director of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Suresh Kumar told ANI that on a daily basis 10-15 people including children with such ailments are reporting to the hospital.
"Every year air pollution level increases in the last month of October and November post-Diwali. This year we saw pollution is in the very severe category. Many patients are coming to the hospital who have respiratory problems. They have wheezing, problems in breathing. Few patients are asthmatic and few are of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease," he said.
Whenever air pollution gets worse, these patients get infections in the chest and faces breathing problems. Many times, we have to admit such patients to the hospital. This year also, we are seeing 10-15 such patients daily including children. Asthmatic people, chronic smokers, people who have allergic lung conditions deteriorate during air pollution and we have to admit them," the doctor informed.
He further informed that if Delhi's air quality is compared with that of WHO's standards, then it stands in the 'severe' category.
"You have more cases in the emergency, OPD, Chest Clinic who have this type of problem. Along with this, patients who are facing problems in the throat, irritation and redness in the eyes, patients whose blood pressure has been increased are coming," Dr Kumar said.
"We have sufficient oxygen in the hospital. Earlier the capacity we had was 5metric tons and now it is 55 metric tons per day in the hospital. We have a great backup of cylinders. As we are preparing for the third wave, so we have no shortage of oxygen," he added.
He further noted that the hospital only admits people who face respiratory fatigue, or who have an infection in the chest.
He further informed that there are three types of respiratory problems. "Mild respiratory, moderate respiratory, and severe respiratory problems. Last we have respiratory failure. Some people have compromised lung function. People who are elderly and children face more problems. The adults do not have many problems. We treat them in OPD," he said.

The doctor said that most of suffering from respiratory problems should stay indoors.
"They should not go outside their home as the outdoor air quality is not good. If they want to go outdoor, they must use a triple layer mask or N-95 mask. This mask lowers the pm 2.5 level from 65 per cent to 95 per cent. Along with this, people can take steam and intake lots of liquids. Those who are smokers should not smoke at all as if they'll do, their lung condition will be in the very severe category and their respiratory problem will increase in such a way that they'll have to get admitted, he added.
Dr Bobby Bhalotra (MD), Vice-Chairman Department Of Chest Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, "Respiratory problems are increasing these days mainly because the winter sets in. There is an increase in respiratory infections and pollution is contributing in a very big way and increasing the number of these patients."
"So, we have two types of patients who come to the hospital. One is the fresh case of respiratory ailment where there is a history of prolonged pollution exposure and then followed by an increase in sudden breathlessness, chest pain. There is a subgroup which is chronic lung patients, asthmatic patients and patients who have COPD interstitial lung disease or post covid recovering patients. They are also coming in big numbers because of the pollution,' he added.
Dr Bhalotra stressed that the pollution level in Delhi "is very high."
"All of us know that pollution is very bad for the lungs. If a person is inhaling polluted air, obviously the lung and respiratory system is going to get affected. That is the reason why people are getting excessive issues of asthma, COPD and interstitial lung diseases. I think it is related to pollution directly. I think the number of patients has increased in a big way. The OPD are full of patients who are complaining of cough, cold, sneezing, burning eyes, chest pains, breathlessness and it is directly related to pollution. We are getting quite several patients in the emergency department who are complaining of respiratory problems," he said.
Lalit Kumar Sharma, a patient's son, who came to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, "My mother had the problem of chest congestion and cold and cough. For that, I have come to the hospital. 95 per cent we can say my mother is facing such an issue due to the pollution. We are wearing the masks at home itself. We have stopped going out early in the morning and late in the evening and we try to go to the market during sunny days. We are also planning to purchase the air purifiers for bedrooms also."
Surendra Kumar Mehra, a patient who came to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for a check-up said, "I am facing slight congestion. Earlier I had no problem. I am facing this because of the environmental problem. Neither the central government, not the state government nobody is taking care of the people. We as a public should thrash them out. They are only concentrating on Mandir and Masjid political issues whether it's the prime minister or chief minister all are irresponsible people. I am not going out in the morning and the evening. I have started using filters in the house."
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital was recorded at 396 as it continued to remain in the 'Very Poor' category for the third consecutive day today.
According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board, the average AQI of Delhi stood at 396 in the morning at 10 am.
As per SAFAR's bulletin, the AQI in Delhi which was recorded at 331 is "unlikely to improve" today as winds at the transport level are increasing, resulting in more intrusion of farm fires-related pollutants into Delhi. Yesterday, the national capital recorded an AQI at 318 (overall). (ANI)