Hospitals in the healthcare hub are facing a severe shortage of beds due to the sudden spurt in summer illnesses.
According to doctors, there has been more than 25% increase in cases of gastroenteritis, fever and urinary tract infections (UTI) in the last two weeks in Gurgaon, thanks to the heat wave that has engulfed the city.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of patients walking into the emergency ward with gastro infections, stomach flu and fever since the last two weeks and the numbers are increasing by the day,” said Dr Sushum Sharma, head of internal medicine, Max Healthcare.
The seasonal trend, on the other hand, has led to some major hospitals running out of beds. “Although most gastro and fever cases don’t require admission, those who are admitted tend to take long to recover. They are admitted usually for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Beds in our hospital have been full for more than a week. Patients have to wait for minimum 10 hours. In such cases, we give them primary treatment at our out-patient department. If their condition is critical, we refer them to other hospitals where they can get admitted,” said Dr Vishal Sehgal, head of emergency and in-patient services at Artemis Health Sciences which has 300 beds.
Doctors claim that most patients are either children or middle-aged people. While the former group is low on immunity, the latter is the most exposed to the sun.
“Initially, only adults were coming in with summer illnesses. Since the last five days, however, many children have also started coming in. They complain of fever and diarrhoea,” said Dr SP Yadav of Pushpanjali Hospital. According to him, UTI is more prevalent among young adults, while dehydration is common among the senior citizens. “We see at least 60 patients everyday and the beds are always full,” he added.
The sun has been harsh on expecting mothers too. Doctors have been witnessing an increase in cases of gastroenteritis among pregnant women as they suffer from an increased risk of dehydration, thereby leading to a host of infections.
“Of the total patients I see everyday, 10% suffer from gastro problems. Pregnant women are more prone to heat-related illnesses as they get dehydrated easily,” said Dr Sanjay Wazir, head of the neonatology department at The Cradle.
Tourists too have taken ill due to the unrelenting heat wave. Dr Kalyan Sachdev, founder of Privat Hospital, said, “In the last one week, we cured five expats and 20 locals for gastro problems.”