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Dr Prashant Sinha

Delhi Heat Wave Claims Five Lives: Doctors Urge Preventive Measures

With five deaths attributed to heat stroke in Delhi, medical professionals are sounding the alarm and stressing the importance of preventive measures to combat the extreme heat. The rising temperatures in the national capital have prompted doctors at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI Hospital) to advise the public on how to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses.

Dr. Prashant Sinha, an emergency medicine specialist at PSRI, highlighted the urgency of taking preventive measures to avoid heat stroke.

He recommended covering the skin from the sun, wearing cotton clothing and sunglasses, and staying hydrated by carrying bottled water at all times. Dr. Sinha noted that the hospital sees approximately two patients daily suffering from heat stroke, many of whom have underlying health conditions that exacerbate their vulnerability.

"This year, the temperature has crossed 50 degrees Celsius in some areas, which is unprecedented and should not be downplayed. The stagnating high temperatures are leading to an increase in heat-related illnesses," Dr. Sinha explained.

The extreme heat poses a significant threat to vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems. These groups are particularly susceptible to the effects of heat stroke, which can rapidly escalate to a medical emergency if not promptly addressed.

Dr. Sinha emphasised the importance of community support and awareness, particularly for these at-risk groups. "Family members and caregivers should be vigilant in monitoring the health of those who are most vulnerable. Ensuring they stay cool, hydrated, and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours can save lives," he said.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of heat stroke is crucial for early intervention. Common symptoms include a high body temperature (above 103°F or 39.4°C), red, hot, and dry skin with no sweating, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. Immediate medical attention is necessary if any of these symptoms are observed.

The Delhi government has issued advisories urging citizens to stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 11 AM and 4 PM. They have also encouraged the use of public cooling centers and the distribution of water to those in need.

Public health officials are coordinating with local hospitals and clinics to ensure they are equipped to handle an influx of heat-related cases. Emergency services are on high alert, and additional resources have been allocated to manage the situation effectively.

The recurring heat waves underscore the need for long-term solutions to mitigate the impact of extreme temperatures. Urban planning initiatives that include increasing green spaces, improving water management, and enhancing the city's infrastructure to cope with heat stress are essential steps toward building climate resilience.

Environmental experts are calling for comprehensive climate action plans that address the root causes of rising temperatures. These plans include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy sources, and implementing policies that support sustainable development.

The recent deaths due to heat stroke in Delhi are a stark reminder of the dangers posed by extreme heat.

As temperatures continue to rise, it is imperative that individuals take preventive measures to protect themselves and their loved ones. Public health initiatives, community support, and long-term climate strategies are vital to safeguarding the health and well-being of all residents. By working together, Delhi can better prepare for and respond to the challenges posed by extreme heat.


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