The Civil Hospital in Civil Lines attended to around 1,000 patients with complaints of dizziness, lightheadedness, heat exhaustions, among other heat-induced illnesses this month, doctors said. During the same period last year, the hospital had treated close to 700 such patients.
The hospital staff said many cases of abdominal pain due to the heat have also been reported in the last 15-20 days.
The maximum temperature had crossed 38 degrees Celsius in the first week of April. The rains in the second week of the month brought the maximum temperature down to 30 degrees Celsius.
However, the day temperatures are expected to touch 40 degrees Celsius around April 23.
Private hospitals, too, have seen cases of heat strokes and a rise in the number of people coming in with nose bleeds. “Over the last 15 days, I have attended to more than 10 patients complaining of nose bleeds. Before April, there were hardly any such cases,” said Dr Rajnish Kumar, neurologist at Paras Hospital.
A dry, hot weather tends to dry out nasal membranes and can lead to formation of crusts that bleed when picked, he said, adding, “During the summer season, we sweat more and lose salt in our bodies which is the cause of unconsciousness and exhaustion. Make sure you have enough fluids throughout the day to maintain the level of salts.”
Dr Amitabha Ghosh, physician at Columbia Asia Hospital, said he has seen a rise in mild forms of heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat cramps over the last 10 days. “These are a result of prolonged exposure to high temperature along with dehydration and physical exertion,” he said.
Ghosh said when feeling sick during the season, one should avoid painkillers and only drink lots of water and have a balanced diet. “There’s a high chance that taking painkillers in the heat could lead to some kidney damage,” he said.
Doctors advised avoiding exposure to direct sunlight between 11 am and 3 pm. They said people should wear light-coloured clothes as they won’t absorb heat.
However, doctors said they haven’t received cases of heat strokes — a more extreme manifestation of heat exhaustion that happens if your body temperature rises to 40 degrees Celsius or higher — yet. Symptoms of a heat stroke include throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid breathing, muscle weakness among others.
They further said that cases of heat stroke start coming in when the temperature rises above 42 degrees Celsius, and advised people to not exert themselves in the coming few days.