Hospitals asked to stay prepared as deaths rise in heat wave

Health minister Samanta Lal Sen has instructed hospitals across the country to be prepared as the number of patients may increase due to the extreme heat wave sweeping over the country for the last couple of days.

After attending a meeting with officials of the health ministry and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Sunday, the minister briefed the newsmen.

He said the heat wave is ongoing. No one has control over nature and there is a chance of increasing patients.

Meanwhile, the DGHS has prepared guidelines for treating illness due to the heat wave.

DGHS will train the trainers in using the guidelines. Since 24 April, physicians across the country will be trained through Zoom, the health ministry and DGHS officials have said.

According to the guidelines made with the support of UNICEF, people fall sick, the number of deaths and mental stress increases due to hot weather and heat waves.

The people are experiencing a severe heat wave since the first week of April and the ongoing heatwave may persist throughout the next month.
There are reports that the number of patients are increasing in some hospitals.

Quoting authorities concerned, Prothom Alo correspondents in Jashore, Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Pabna, Barishal said patients in these districts have increased. Patients have also increased in the Bangladesh Shishu Hospital and Institute.

22 per cent increase in deaths

The guideline delineates the impact of heat waves on health. Extreme heat causes dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, fatigue, vomiting tendency, fever and blood pressure fall.

Quoting a study of 2017, the guideline says 22 per cent of deaths increase during the days of heat waves.

There are more studies that heat waves cause more deaths. Quoting findings of another study, it is said 1.3 per cent of deaths increased due to heat between 2003 and 2007.

What should be done in case of heatstroke

While speaking to newsmen at the secretariat on Sunday, health minister Samanta Sen Lal said symptoms of heatstroke are: rise in body temperature, fainting, dizziness, increased heartbeats and more.

If someone suffers heatstroke, he or she experiences less sweating, vomits and faces breathing problems.

Every hospital has been instructed about the treatment the patients have to be given.

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