Respiratory illnesses aggravate as mercury dips

Respiratory illnesses aggravate as mercury dips
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Over 200 patients admitted to CD hospital, doctors advise precaution, rest

Srinagar: In wake of the severe cold wave in Kashmir, doctors have warned patients of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to be more careful while doing routine work.
Doctors at Kashmir’s lone chest specialty, CD Hospital, said on Friday that the patient rush had increased four times with the onset of winter.
“Most of the patients complain of breathlessness, cough, and tightness in chest. Sharp decrease in temperature also triggers severe asthma attacks,” a doctor at the hospital said.
Dr Naved Nazir, senior chest specialist and Head, Department of Chest Medicine, Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, said, “At present more than 200 COPD and asthma patients are admitted to CD hospital, as their illness aggravated following the dip in mercury.”
He said that people with COPD and other asthma related complications are facing difficulty in this season of biting cold.
“The outpatient department of CD hospital also remains packed with such patients,” Dr Nazir said, informing that the hospital receives nearly 1,000 patients in OPD these days, as compared to 300 patients in summer days.
The doctor advised such patients to be extra cautious. “Such patients should always consult their doctor before the onset of winter for any modification and updating of treatment plan. Stand upright or sit down and take a long breath,” he suggested.
According to public health experts, asthma patients should try to stay indoors when the temperature dips very low. “It’s better to avoid unnecessary outdoor trips. In case of compulsion, it is better that people wear proper clothes and cover all sensitive areas and airways, like nose and mouth, with warm cloth. It is better to drink extra fluids in the winters,” said Dr Muhamamd Salim Khan, Head of Department of Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar.
He also advised vulnerable groups including older people, persons with lung problems, COPD, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer and other immune-compromised issues to remain alert during winter months.
“They must take all necessary precautions in consultation with their doctor. They need to protect themselves with vaccination against flu and pneumonia. The rooms in which they stay should be warm but ventilated so that there is enough fresh air, otherwise patient admissions to hospital will increase unnecessarily. Prevention is always better than cure,” Dr Khan said.