The intense winters in the national capital this year has led to a huge spike in the rush of patients at outpatient department (OPD) of hospitals across Delhi, with some even recording as much as 20 to 30 per cent increase, doctors said on Tuesday.
According to experts, children, elderly and people with chronic diseases are more vulnerable to catch health complications.
Some of the common winter-related health ailments are fever, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, chesty cough, headache, aches and pains, fatigue, and respiratory issues.
Speaking with ANI, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said, “Situation in Delhi is worse than hilly areas as the temperature in the city is dipping rapidly. Hilly areas are having the sun in the day time, winter chills are not affecting the people there.”
He said that this unusual pattern of winter this time can even put normal individual’s health at risk and they can suffer hypothermia.
“However, this extreme winter is not suitable for newborn, younger children, elderly and people with chronic diseases. They need to keep themselves warm, consume hot fluids like soup, coffee, milk, etc and keep their bodies hydrated. We are witnessing about 20 per cent rise in OPD cases due to winter-related problems,” Dr Guleria said.
“During winter virus stays in the air due to low temperature and hence, cases of infection and viral fever rises. Chances of blood pressure, heart attack and hypertension also increase. So, these people with these problems need to be extra careful,” he added.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also warned that temperature is expected to drop further in the coming days.
Dr Shandip Kumar Sinha, a paediatric surgeon at Madhukar Rainbow Children Hospital said that kids with low immunity are generally being affected due to change in weather or exposure to an infected individual’s cough.
“Children should wear woollen clothes in multiple layers. Parents should not take their children outside in the morning and children should engage in indoor games and physical activities,” Dr Sinha added.
Fortis Hospital Pulmonary Department Head Dr Vikas Maurya said that cold air is a major trigger of asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.
“Individuals suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis and COPD can get their health to worsen and require hospitalization. This time, we have got a 30 per cent hike in the rush at OPD with patients complaining of respiratory illness due to cold,” Maurya said.
Academy of Family Physicians of India President Dr Raman Kumar said, “Winters and chronic pains have a close association. We often see our patients with worsening body pain in winters. People with a medical condition called- Trigeminal Neuralgia.”
“It is a chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal nerve in the face. The trigeminal nerve carries sensation from the face to the brain. It’s most common in women over 50 years of age,” he said.