As the mercury has gone down in the national Capital, doctors have advised the elderly people not to step outside their houses. The combination of cold weather and pollution is deadly and may lead to increase in blood pressure and even heart attacks, doctors said on Tuesday. The city is presently experiencing the coldest and the most polluted December in four years.
“The concentration of pollution in the air is more because of cold. This is a common situation in all the hospitals during this time that they report higher number of heart attacks. There have been several studies proving the same. Apart from that, during winters blood pressure levels go high,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Center for Chest Surgery and Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Similarly, Dr Pramod Kumar, Director& Head of Cardiology Department, Fortis Shalimar Bagh said, “The combination of cold and pollution has become deadly. Heart attacks have increased. The main reason of heart attacks in this season is that the blood thickens and clots in the arteries of a patient who is already suffering from some heart disease.”
With this, the number of patients at the hospitals has risen drastically. As per Dr Arvind Kumar, the numbers registered with the hospitals can be an eye wash and the situation might be more serious due to self medication.
According to Dr Ambuj Roy, Professor of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the primary victims of the weather are elderly and hypertensive patients.
“We are now seeing people coming with high blood pressures in Outpatient Departments (OPDs). Elderly and children are more prone to falling ill in this weather,” he said.
“People these days know how to use nebulizers and medicines. They are freely available to them. After using them, they are relieved and do not go to hospitals,” said Dr Arvind Kumar.
There has been an increase in the number of patients waiting for the treatment.
“I am seeing at least 20 patients daily who have taken appointments but then there are patients who are waiting for the appointments,” said Dr Arvind.
While the cold is already taking the toll, pollution in this weather is also worsening the case, he said.
“Children especially newborn experience more obstruction in breathing because their airways are already narrow and due to pollution, the walls in the airways swell making it difficult for them to breathe,” he said. Elderly are affected by pollution due to lower immunity, he added.
He further said that due to pollution, now even the young patients are coming with the problems of hypertension.
In such a scenario, the doctors advised elderly, heart patients and asthmatic patients not to go out in this weather or take necessary precautions before going out.
“People should not avoid their health and take blood pressure checkups on regular basis. Also, elderly patients should take pneumonia and flu vaccines to be safe. People should cover themselves properly and wear masks,” said Dr Pramod Kumar.