Two 300L immersion tubs, 13 special ambulances in new heat stroke facility at RML

- May 16, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

The heat stroke facility at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in central Delhi is a first of its kind in North India and is ready to handle patients

Days after the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) declared heat stroke as medical emergency, the first state-of-art heat stroke unit was inaugurated at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The facility is ready to handle patients.

Speaking to Patriot, Dr Seema Wasnik, In-charge of the unit and Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine, emphasised the critical importance of rapid and early cooling to reduce mortality and morbidity in heat stroke patients. 

“Heat stroke can have mortality as high as 80% if not treated in time and rapidly,” she stated.

A special room has been set aside under the heat stroke unit, fully equipped with essential facilities for treating patients. This room includes air conditioners and monitors for continuous tracking of patients’ conditions. 

Dr Seema informed that the room features two immersion tubs, each with a capacity of 300 litres, designed to normalise the body temperature of heat stroke patients. These tubs, filled with ice and water, will be used to bring down patients’ body temperatures quickly.

Additionally, the room is equipped with a 50 kg capacity ice-making machine to ensure a readily available supply of ice. 

“All kinds of facilities have been kept in this heat stroke room,” she added, underscoring the comprehensive preparations made to effectively treat patients.

Explaining the preventive measures further, the doctor said, “It is essential to stay hydrated and dress appropriately. Drink plenty of fluids regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks, as they can lead to dehydration.

“Apart from this, wearing lightweight, light-coloured clothing and using wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can help protect one from direct sunlight. Staying cool is crucial during peak heat hours. Avoid outdoor activities between 10am and 4pm, and spend time in air-conditioned buildings or use fans to stay cool. Taking cool showers or baths can also effectively lower body temperature,” she said.

Dr Seema also said that they have kept 13 advanced cardiac life support ambulances on standby as the election season is ongoing in the city. 

“To help people suffering from heat stroke during roadshows and rallies, these ambulances have special kits consisting of surgical sponge, drinking water, cold water spray, IV fluids, ORS powder,” she said. 

“Additionally, it has a thermometer, IV set, IV cannula, cannula IV fixation, ice packs, collapsible water tube, alcohol swabs, and syringes. The kit contains all the necessary things to tackle every emergency situation,” said Dr Seema.

Through proactive measures and community outreach, doctors are working to raise awareness about the dangers of heat-related illnesses and empower individuals to take preventive action. 

She expressed her appreciation, saying, “We extend our sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed to this vital initiative, including our dedicated staff, partners, and supporters. Together, we are making strides towards a safer, healthier future for our community.”

On May 5, the MoHFW declared heat stroke as a medical emergency following the soaring mercury above normal maximum temperatures in the northern plains, central region, and adjoining areas of peninsular India.

The MoHFW said in a post on X, “Recognise the signs of heatstroke and take action. Your health is your priority.”

Giving details of the common signs of heat stroke in children, MoHFW said, “The early signs to recognise the health condition in the kids are refusal to feed, excessive irritability, decreased urine output, dry oral mucosa and absence of tears/sunken eyes, lethargy or altered sensorium, seizures, bleeding from any site.”