‘Heat wave conditions can be fatal for those with comorbidities’

Lucknow, May 2 (IANS) The prevailing heat wave conditions in the northern parts of the country could lead to serious health issues among people.

According to medical experts, the rapid increase in heat may compromise the body’s ability to regulate temperature and can result in illnesses, including heat cramps, dizziness, fainting, exhaustion, heatstroke and hyperthermia. Some of these can be fatal.

Further, those with cardiovascular problems, diabetes and other comorbidities, are at a higher risk so they should completely avoid going in the sun.

Prof Qausar Usman, faculty at the medicine department of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), said that temperature extremes can worsen chronic conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and diabetes-related conditions.

“Since heat puts more stress on organs like heart and lungs as they function beyond their capacity, it could be hazardous for those having lungs and heart issues. Besides, blood sugar levels can rise, and blood pressure may drop during extreme hot weather because of continuous sweating,” he said.

Dr Himanshu Chaturvedi, medical superintendent, Balrampur hospital, said that if the severe heat spell continues, the cases of hospitalisation may increase, and prove fatal for some.

He further said though the problem is yet not serious as only five to six mild cases of heat wave have been reported so far but if humidity also increases at this temperature, heat stroke cases would rise.

“The body doesn’t sweat if there is high humidity present in the surroundings. As a result, temperature keeps increasing and the patient gets heat stroke,” he explained.

Prof Rajesh Verma, neurologist at KGMU, said, “In heat stroke, blood temperature rises that can curdle proteins in the brain. This could lead to neurological damages and sometimes even death.”

Doctors of Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), SPM Civil Hospital, and Lokbandhu Hospital in Lucknow said that they are getting four to five such patients and urged people not to move out without precautions.

Director Lokbandhu hospital Dr Ajay Shankar Tripathi said, “In case, a patient is showing altered human behaviour, her/his temperature rises and starts feeling dizzy, she/he must be taken to hospital immediately because this could be a heat stroke. “

Medical superintendent RMLIMS Prof Vikram Singh said, “Every person in this weather must step out after eating something and should carry a water bottle with electrolytes in it so that dehydration can be avoided.”