Post-Diwali air pollution leads to Bengaluru hospitals witnessing significant increased in lung ailments; Details

At Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases or the RGICD, the OPD on Monday saw a 15% increase in the number of registrations. (Representational image: Reuters)

Air pollution in Bengaluru: Many hospitals in the southern city of Bengaluru have witnessed a rise in the number of patients suffering from ailments related to lungs post Diwali. A report in IE cited data from Bengaluru-based Continuous Ambient Quality Monitoring Stations and said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels during Diwali this year rose by 23% in comparison to the levels at the same time in 2020. At Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases or the RGICD, the OPD on Monday saw a 15% increase in the number of registrations.

The report cited RGICD Director Dr C Nagaraj as saying that on Monday, they registered more than 200 cases in the outpatients department (OPD), about 15% increase than the number of daily consultations that the hospital usually witnesses. The director added that this number has been rising since the day after Diwali, and they expect it to increase further in the coming week. The director also warned patients already having lung-related ailments like asthma, ILD, COPD and lung fibrosis to remain cautious at this point and take precautionary measures so that they are not exposed to toxic air.

The report also cited him as saying that people who have lung-related issues have over the past few days been using nebulisers at home or in clinics more frequently.

Meanwhile JP Nagar-based Aster RV Hospital has seen a devastating 30% increase in the number of patients with lung ailments. As per the hospital’s Dr Pavan Yadav, the issue is augmented by the fact that winter leads to respiratory viral infections being more common. He advised that people should wear masks and should also avoid going out a lot, while also making sure that they have their inhalers with them at all times.

Notably, the Karnataka government had last month only allowed sale of green crackers in the state, banning those fireworks that contain harmful chemicals, including barium salts. The report, however, said that many senior citizens informed that despite the ban, such crackers were sold as well as burst during the festival.

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