In what comes as a warning to parents, especially those who have children sitting for board exams, a 17-year old Indian School Certificate (ISC) student appearing for his maths paper on Tuesday developed high blood pressure and nearly collapsed in his exam seat after having not slept for 48 hours.
Amit Jha, a resident of Lokhandwala Complex, Kandivli, and student of Gundecha Academy School, said he had been nervous about the maths paper as he wants to purse engineering and needs to score well.
On Tuesday, 15 minutes into the exam, which started at 2pm, Jha started shivering, getting stomach cramps and throwing up. The school’s medical attendant found Jha’s blood pressure high at 160/110; the normal level is 120/80.
“We called a doctor, but we could help him before the doctor came,” said school principal Seema Buch.
“We got him to relax through yoga techniques and asked him to take a nap for 10 minutes. This brought his blood pressure down to 140/90 in minutes.”
Jha had collapsed because of lack of sleep and irregular meals, Buch said, adding that his mother did not find it out of the ordinary that her son had not eaten or slept properly for two nights.
“I experienced similar pain the previous night,” the teenager said.
His mother had taken him to a hospital, where he was prescribed painkillers. “I was nervous, though I had prepared well. I could not eat or sleep properly.”
Doctors warn parents from allowing their children to sacrifice sleep as it can be dangerous. Sound sleep also improves memory, said Rajendra Barve, consultant psychiatrist, IIT-Bombay.
To control his exam anxiety, Jha’s teachers are now helping him with revisions.
“I sit with our vice-principal to revise. My teachers are supporting me tremendously,” he said.
Jha was given extra time to complete his maths paper.