The dip in mercury levels coupled with rising pollution levels in the capital has led to a rise in cases of respiratory and heart-related illnesses. People with coronary heart illnesses are among the worst affected, said doctors. Dr Subhash Chandra, Chairman & HOD, Cardiology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said he has seen several cases of elderly people, between the age of 50-70 years, with heart complications. He said the cases are likely to see a further spike by up to 20-30%.
“Do not expose yourself to extreme cold conditions — not going for a walk for a week or two will cause no harm… Keep yourself warm and stay indoors. Get out in the sun when possible… do not compromise with your medication schedule,” he said.
Dr Pramod Kumar, Director, Head of Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, said: “In the last two days, I have treated five patients, in the age group of 40-50 years, with acute heart attacks. The pattern is such that as the temperature drops, cases of heart ailments and lung infections go up. In the last two months, we have also seen cases of heart attacks in people below the age of 30.”
With the temperature set to dip further, doctors cautioned that any symptom of chest pain along with difficulty in breathing should be addressed immediately. Neglecting chest pain, citing acidity or gastric troubles, could be dangerous in winters, added doctors.
“This happens every year with the onset of winters. The admissions in the in-patient department (IPD) due to heart-related emergency have increased by 20%,” added Dr Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS), Coordinator of Heart Transplant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Cases of viral infection, cough, sneezing, respiratory tract infection and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have also gone up.
“The pollution level has suddenly increased in the last few days. We are seeing cases earlier this year, as compared to last year…,” said Dr SP Byotra, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.