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Health hubs battle heat

- Poor infrastructure hits OPD & indoor patients hard

Cases of heat stroke and bacteria infection have flooded clinics and hospitals across Patna in the past few days with the temperature going north.

While summer is already taking a toll on the residents, the government hospitals are hardly prepared to provide basic facilities to patients. Even at PMCH, the biggest state-run hospital, ORS was unavailable at the outpatient department (OPD). A doctor on condition of anonymity said: “The ORS is important for patients suffering from diarrhoea because if it is not given to them from time to time, their condition can worsen. Besides, there should be coolers in the ward but many wards do not even have fans.”

However, a doctor of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) said ORS and other medicines for heat-related ailments were available there.

“Bacteria needs moisture to flourish and the sultry summer weather provides perfect atmosphere for its flourish. Chances of getting infected from water-borne diseases also increases in such conditions,” said physician Diwakar Tejaswi.

Tejaswi said of 35 cases he gets everyday at his private clinic, five are of diarrhoea and another five are of heat stroke. “Besides, I am also getting two to three cases of asthmatic attacks. Those suffering from asthma take cold drinks to beat the heat but only to trigger their problem. So those suffering from asthma should avoid drinking cold drinks,” said Tejaswi.

V.P. Sinha, a doctor with the medicine department, Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), said: “I am getting around 30-40 cases of diarrhoea everyday in both the OPD and emergency wards while I am getting around eight-10 cases of malaria also.”

Nigam Prakash Narayan, a senior doctor of PMCH, said: “At least 50 per cent of the total cases coming to the paediatrics department these days are because of heat-related ailments and of this 30-40 per cent cases are related to diarrhoea alone.”

A.K. Thakur, head, paediatrics department, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, echoed Narayan. “In many cases of diarrhoea, we have not been able to detect the cause — viral or bacterial infection. Usually, we get one to two cases of diarrhoea at the hospital but the number has increased to four to five these days. We are also getting a few respiratory infection cases at the hospital,” said Thakur.

The Met office said temperature would hardly change in the next few days also. “Thunderstorm to hit Patna on May 1 or May 2. After that the temperature would come down to one or two degrees,” said Ashish Sen, director, IMD-Patna.


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