People suffering from respiratory problems face a higher risk of health complications in wake of deterioration in Lucknow’s air quality index (AQI) from ‘moderate’ to ‘poor’, said medical experts. Hospitals across the state have been asked to ensure they have facilities ready to treat cases of respiratory illness and other seasonal problems that may occur in the coming days.
Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma, principal secretary medical health, has told officials to keep beds reserved for patients of respiratory illness and burn injury.
“In the OPD, we used to get one or two follow-up patients who reported to us before their due date. But today, there were a dozen such patients, indicating that the air pollution levels have started affecting patients,” said Rajiv Garg, senior faculty with the department of respiratory medicine at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU).
“The exposure to air pollution is aggravating symptoms among patients of respiratory illness. That is why many of them came much before their due follow-up date,” he said.
Lucknow recorded an AQI of 251 with PM 2.5 as a chief pollutant.
According to the AQI scale, the air quality check between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and between 401 and 450 as ‘severe’ and ‘severe+’ when the AQI exceeds 450.
“We have recorded a rise of 5 per cent in the number of patients with respiratory illness,” said AK Singh, director, Balrampur Hospital.
Former president of IMA (Lucknow) P K Gupta said, “Morning walk can be delayed a bit to avoid early morning chill and smog. Wearing a cloth mask made at home while going out in the traffic can help.”
Devashish Shukla, medical superintendent at Kalyan Singh Super Speciality Cancer Institute and Hospital, said: “If a cancer patient has asthma, then air pollution poses a greater risk for them. Such patients need to remain more cautious.”