In a quick survey of leading hospitals and medical institutions in the city, TOI found that while the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) are witnessing a 50% rise in cases of stroke since November, Balrampur Hospital, which rarely receives stroke patients, is also reporting cases.
According to officials, KGMU has been reporting an average of six cases of stroke daily since November. Now, this number is around 10-12. Similarly, from an average of three cases the number has gone up to 5-6 at RMLIMS. Balrampur Hospital is recording at least one case on weekly basis.
An increase of 20% has also been registered in the number of heart patients. Earlier, 12-14 cases of heart attack were reported in a day at KGMU which has now gone up to 16-18.
Similarly, daily cases have increased from five to seven at RMLIMS.
According to experts, dip in temperature has triggered respiratory infections and constriction of blood vessels leading to rise in blood pressure which is making people prone to brain haemorrhage, ischemic (clot) stroke or heart attack, and artery blockage. They said that people suffering from heart disease and hypertension should visit the doctor and get the dosage of their medicines revised. Prof Ravi Uniyal, a faculty member at KGMU’s neurology department, said: “If someone is already suffering from high blood pressure and is over 40 years of age, especially those with headache, must visit a doctor in winter. They should get their blood pressure checked and take medicines to control it.”
Prof Pravesh Verma, a faculty at cardiology department, KGMU, said winters come with double whammy for those with heart problems.
“Patients with respiratory infection have six times more possibility to suffer a heart attack than a normal person. Low temperature causes blood vessels to constrict, so the heart has to pump harder to push blood through our constricted veins and arteries to organs. This makes those patients vulnerable who have a clot or plaque or have undergone heart surgery,” he said.
Advising precaution, head of cardiology department, RMLIMS, Prof Bhuvan Tiwari said, “Those above 40-45 years should avoid sudden dip in body temperatures. They must wear layered clothing and socks to prevent sudden contraction of blood vessels which might cause heart attack or stroke.”