Post-Diwali, OPDs see spike in patients with respiratory ailments

Post-Diwali, OPDs see spike in patients with respiratory ailments

New delhi: Post Diwali, Delhi has witnessed a 10 to15 percent increase in footfall among patients suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments. With the amalgamation of pollution and bursting of crackers, the pollution levels had reached hazardous levels, while according to agencies the pollution level might come down; patients complaining of breathlessness and asthma have increased.

"There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to OPD with complaints of breathing difficulty, sneezing, chest tightness, and cough due to increasing pollution. We are getting several calls in a day, on emergency line with similar complaints and the people are scared as the symptoms overlap with covid symptoms. The worsening air quality is bringing difficult times for patients with pre existing asthma and bronchitis. And even patients who have no past history of asthma are experiencing such respiratory symptoms," Dr. Akshay Budhraja, Consultant Department of Pulmonology, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital said.

While recovered covid patients had also experienced some symptoms post Diwali, other patients are witnessing symptoms. Medical experts have said that with onset of winter and pollution, they have been witnessing an increase in the number of respiratory


"Post Diwali there is always a 10 to 15 percent increase in symptoms of asthma, upper respiratory traction and many other lung disease. And emergency also sees a 15 percent increase in the admission," Dr. Nevin Kishore Head of Bronchology and senior consultant Respiratory medicine told Millennium Post.

Dr. Vikas Maurya, Director and Head of Department, Pulmonology at Fortis Hospital said that he has been receiving calls since morning regarding asthma intubation. The doctors also said that with covid patients already occupying maximum beds, non covid patients are left with no beds, hence creating a panic like situation.

"That's what we are seeing this year as well. So, the numbers are quite high in the last ten days and hospitals are completely occupied, while we have been given the order by the government to increase the beds. So, there is an increase. And whenever there is an increase in number, there's a proportionate increase in sicker patients," Dr. Kishore added.

He said that the cause of three four months cumulative effect is that some patients are stuck on ICU or oxygen and therefore they are occupying beds, which is why beds are becoming an issue.

Dr. Maurya also said that the patients are having difficulty finding the beds, as ICU beds are filled up with covid patients. "We are expecting cases to go higher within a day or two. If you have lung involvement due to covid there are changes that have taken place in your lungs, they become more insensitive, so that's normally seen in covid cases," he added.

At AIIMS, the OPD services started from Monday, with doctors expecting an increase in footfall in the coming couple of days. "The OPD started from Monday at AIIMS and we are expecting an increase in the number of covid and even asthma cases. We knew this was coming," a senior official at the hospital said.

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