When we breathe, our lungs take in oxygen from the air and deliver it to the bloodstream. The air quality is varying between 'severe' and 'very poor' in Delhi-NCR, and stubble burning is going on unabated in neighboring states. Major city hospitals in Delhi saw a spike, with some registering a 25 percent hike in patients complaining of respiratory issues.
According to medical experts, most of the patients are being diagnosed with bronchitis and advance asthma. Medical experts had earlier in the day come up with a health advisory that suggested against outdoor exercises, saying "there is no safe time to be outdoors". Practitioners say that due to fall in the temperature and wind speed, the pollutants are trapped in the atmosphere causing problems to the respiratory patients.
"The number in respiratory OPD has almost increased by 25 percent, patients are advised to take precaution and limit outdoor activities if possible," Raj Kumar, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, told IANS.
"Patients are coming in with chest pains and respiration issues. The numbers are considerable and had been increasing since Diwali," said Jain, one of the experts who earlier in the day issues the advisory discouraging outdoor exercises.
According to the advisory, while the city with high volume of pollutants in the air is bad for exercising, running or participating in a marathon can add at least two tablespoonfuls of toxic ash to the lungs.
Experts say the sudden dip in temperature has come at a time when impact of winds and the stubble burning is showing up, leading to spike in patients.
"There is a spike in patients with respiratory symptoms specially cough, rhinitis and soar throat. Kids, elderly and patients with respiratory diseases are advised caution," says Himanshu Garg, Head, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care, Artemis Hospitals.