As temperature soars, T.N. Public Health Directorate asks hospitals to reserve 2 to 10 beds for heat-related admissions

The need for quick recognition and emergency attention makes it crucial for hospitals to allocate separate beds for heat-related ailments DPH T. S. Selvavinayagam said

April 09, 2024 04:08 pm | Updated April 12, 2024 04:18 pm IST - CHENNAI

A young woman covers her face and uses an umbrella to protect herself from the scorching heat in Chennai.

A young woman covers her face and uses an umbrella to protect herself from the scorching heat in Chennai. | Photo Credit: Ragu R.

With heat levels rising, the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) and Preventive Medicine has asked all institutions under the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services (DMS) to earmark two to 10 beds for persons coming in with symptoms of heat-related illnesses, to facilitate rapid recognition and response measures.

T. S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said that medical college hospitals already have protocols for managing heat-related illnesses such as the administration of IV fluids. “We have requested both DME (government medical college hospitals) and DMS (government hospitals) institutions to earmark two to 10 beds for persons with heat-related illnesses as rapid recognition and rapid cooling are essential for recovery. There is a need for quick recognition and emergency attention to be given to such patients,” he said.

The directorate has also advised the 108 ambulance teams to take up cooling measures before moving a person with heat-related symptoms to a health facility. “We have advised the ambulance teams to take up rapid cooling using ice packs or a cold water spray or tepid sponging before transporting the person to hospital,” he added.

Heatwave advisory

In a heatwave advisory, the DPH said that the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai has said that there was a possibility of increased heat levels in the coming days in Tamil Nadu. In particular, the IMD has said that there could be heatwaves in some parts of the State. In view of this, the Directorate has asked persons to stay adequately hydrated, indoors and outdoors.

It also advised people who worked outdoors to take extra precautions. Roadside vendors, construction workers, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme workers, bus crew and passengers, farmers, gig and platform workers, police and fire and rescue service personnel particularly traffic police personnel are at a greater risk of heat-related illness, it said.

The DPH said extra care should be taken in the case of children, especially infants and sick children, pregnant women as well as elderly and sick persons who should avoid going out into the heat. Persons who have to frequently go out due to work and those who work outdoors should drink adequate quantities of water.

Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) are available at all government primary health centres, health and wellness centres (health sub-centres), government hospitals and government medical college hospitals. ORS solutions provided at ORS corners can be consumed to stay protected from the effects of the heat, the advisory said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.