The casualty wards at city hospitals remained busy on Diwali evening with patients coming in with burns and respiratory distress owing to cracker bursting.
“Looks like the crackers’ ban did not have the desired effect among residents. We got 15 cases of burn injuries during the night — 10 (adults) and five (children). Two patients with severe burn injuries were operated upon and the rest were discharged. Four patients with breathing difficulty also came to the casualty,” said a senior official from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
The situation remained the same across various hospitals with 10 minor cases of burns and two complaints of breathlessness at BLK Super Speciality Hospital. Dr. Sandeep Nayar, the head of department, respiratory medicine, allergy and sleep disorders, BLK Super Speciality Hospital said, “Pollution affects all parts of our body. Asthma and other respiratory disorders also gets aggravated. The number as well as the severity of the disease increases manifold.”
Appeals for measures
City pulmonologists appeal to the parents and caregivers to understand the severity of the increasing pollutions and take timely measures to manage asthma with inhalation therapy.
Dr. Puneet Khanna, senior consultant and head, department of interventional pulmonology, respiratory and sleep medicine, Aakash Healthcare – Super Speciality Hospital noted, “Air quality deteriorates drastically around Diwali to hazardous levels as a thick layer of smog mixed with dangerous chemicals usually engulfs the city. The concentrations of the ultra-fine PM2.5 reach to as high as 1000 ug/m3, nearly 17 times the safe limit of 60 ug/m3.”
“The levels are usually the highest during early mornings and late evenings. Morning joggers, school children, and elderly are more vulnerable to such high toxic smog,” he said.
Explaining why the situation is so critical for those in the Capital, Dr. Karan Madan, assistant professor, department of pulmonary medicine and sleep disorders, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said, “Delhi is deprived of clean air due to a number of factors like vehicular pollution, construction activities, etc. Air quality further deteriorates significantly with the use of firecrackers. Improvement in air quality shall provide relief to patients with respiratory ailments, primarily asthma.”