States, UTs asked to submit data on heat stroke cases and deaths

Guidelines on mass gatherings/sports events to ensure adequate care especially to the vulnerable population

April 09, 2024 08:26 pm | Updated April 12, 2024 04:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A man drinks water to get respite from the heat amid hot weather. Image for representation. File

A man drinks water to get respite from the heat amid hot weather. Image for representation. File | Photo Credit: ANI

States and Union Territories are to submit data on heat stroke cases and deaths, emergency attendance and total deaths on the Integrated Health Information Portal (IHIP) while undertaking an investigation of suspected heat-related illness/death, said an advisory issued by the National Centre for Disease Control for State Health Department on Heat Wave Season 2024.

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With elections around the corner, the Department has also issued directions on how mass gatherings should be organised to prevent health-related issues; these include early warnings, avoiding activities between 12 noon and 3 p.m., an assessment of venues with a medical team for setting up medical camps etc.

Directing organisers to ensure that there are no overcrowded pockets during events, the Department said that vulnerable populations should be identified at entry checkpoints and monitored with the help of volunteers/cameras on site. Events are also supposed to have uniformed medical aid teams, detailed maps of event sites with indications to the nearest exit and proper indications about the exits. “Keep effective communication between the healthcare team and event stakeholders,’’ the Department has said.

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Meanwhile, doctors have also warned about the rising temperature and noted that people should look out for symptoms of sun allergies and dehydration, including dizziness, headache, excessive thirst, dryness of mouth, decrease in urine output and fainting.

“Elderly people, young children, patients suffering from chronic illness and on multiple medications are more prone to the effects of extreme heat. Severe dehydration due to excessive heat can cause stroke and contribute to formation of blood clots also. Hence, maintenance of adequate hydration is essential,” said Navinath M., consultant nephrologist, Asian Institute of Nephrology and Urology (AINU), Chennai

“With the escalating temperatures, there’s a noticeable uptick in cases of sun allergies and sunburn among individuals. It’s crucial to time outdoor activities wisely and use the time when the sun’s rays are less intense. We strongly advocate for the application of sunscreen to exposed skin areas and advise limiting sun exposure to 5-10 minutes on the upper back. We’re witnessing a concerning trend, with approximately 20% of our daily patients presenting with sun-related allergies, including rashes, irritation, and pigmentation issues. Children and individuals engaged in outdoor occupations are particularly vulnerable. While sun exposure is vital, it’s imperative to remain vigilant about potential skin damage,’’ explained Aakansha Arora, child specialist, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

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