Cold-related diseases including pneumonia
Shamsul Alam Zulfiqar : Yamin, a 3-month-old child suffering from cold-fever and cough. Mother Yesmin Akhtar is sitting in front of the emergency department of the Children’s Hospital and Institute, hugging her son in the bone-chilling winter. The baby is crying every now and then.
The mother’s eyes are shaking because of her son’s pain.
He is giving various comforts including patting the child’s head to stop crying, and sometimes looking at the child. But nothing can stop the crying. Shamin Hossain, father of the child, is in the same situation. Sometimes she was standing in a long queue to admit her son, sometimes she was trying to console him by taking him in her arms.
Shamin Hossain said, my child is suffering from cold, fever and cough for 4 days. The fever is not decreasing at all. The son’s condition is very bad. Been wandering here for admission for 2 days. But no bed is free.
Even today, the bed was turned away as it was not available. Not only this child family, 10 families of such children in the children’s hospital were turned away due to lack of beds. Again, many were seen moaning. This scene was seen from Tuesday morning to afternoon.
The hospital authorities said that due to the cold current in the last few days, the blood pressure of the patients suffering from cold-fever, cough, pneumonia, diarrhea and respiratory diseases has increased 7 to 8 times than normal. An average of more than 1,000 patients are receiving care in the outpatient department and emergency department every day. And there is no vacant bed in the designated 750-bed hospital. Before one bed is empty, other patients are crowding in. As a result, many are being turned away as beds are not available.
Hospital statistics showed a total of 101 new admissions on Tuesday with cold-related problems, pneumonia and diarrhoea. 41 of them are suffering from pneumonia. The rest are suffering from cold related problems and diarrhoea. 70 children were treated in the outpatient department. 140 children were admitted the previous day on Monday. About 400 children have been admitted with pneumonia and diarrhea in the last 10 days. Among them, the number of children with pneumonia is 286. Currently, the hospital has a total of 223 people admitted with cold-related diseases, asthma and diarrhoea.
Apart from this, in the new year of this month, a total of 500 people have been admitted with various problems including cold-related diseases, pneumonia, asthma and diarrhea. This number was 425 in December, 388 in November and 345 in October. In other words, more patients were admitted on January 16, breaking all previous records.
Doctors said that during normal times, about 150 people used to come to the outpatient department and emergency department for treatment of cold, pneumonia and various diseases, compared to an average of 300 last month. Due to increasing winter in a few days, 1,000 to 1,200 patients are coming to the Children’s Hospital for treatment every day.
Doctors have also said that the number of patients will increase if the winter increases. According to them, parents are coming to the hospital with children suffering from colds, asthma, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, breathing problems, tonsillitis and diarrhea especially during this winter season. Because it is very cold in the countryside now. As a result, the number of patients with pneumonia has increased. In addition, many parents come to the hospital too late, not understanding the breathing patterns of babies. It increases the risk of child death. Doctors advise to eat extra food rich in nutrients to increase immunity along with wearing warm clothes to protect from cold.
According to the information of the Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of the Department of Health, from November 15 of last year to January 13 of this month, i.e. in about 2 months, 2 lakh 33 thousand 318 people have been affected by pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, diarrhea and respiratory tract infections. Among them, 61,924 people suffered from acute respiratory infection and 1 lakh 71 thousand 394 people suffered from diarrhea. Among them, 32 people died due to cold-related respiratory problems and diarrhea.
A tour of the Children’s Hospital from Tuesday morning to noon saw heavy patient pressure from the exterior of the hospital to the front of the emergency department. 3 times more pediatric patients are receiving treatment than usual. There is no place to step in the crowd of patients and relatives. Long line in front of doctor’s room too. Although the pressure is low in the morning, the number of patients increases as the afternoon progresses. Doctors and nurses do not have time to breathe. Doctors are admitting complex patients after seeing their physical condition. The rest are being sent home with medical advice. Many of them expressed their anger about not getting a bed. Others are pleading with the hospital staff to get a bed.
Meanwhile, all 16 beds in the hospital’s pneumonia ward are full. Apart from this there are 3 children in the cabin. There are no empty beds. Apart from this, most of the children have been admitted with pneumonia in ward number 1 and 2 of the hospital. Many of them are being given oxygen. Apart from the children of the capital, patients are also coming here from the surrounding districts.
Fatema Akhtar, a resident of Ashulia, admitted the 8-month-old baby Fahim in ward No. 1 of the hospital. He said, my child has high fever due to cold. Cough syrup from the pharmacy did not work. I got admission here 3 days ago as the condition is very bad. Now the fever has subsided but there is a severe cough. I am very scared and panic about the baby.
A doctor on duty in this ward of the hospital said to the light of time, with the increase of winter, the diseases caused by winter are also increasing. We are struggling to cope with the pressure of patients and relatives. In this ward, 40 children are admitted with cold-related diseases. Another child patient is being brought in before a bed becomes vacant. Many are being turned away due to bed shortages.
In this regard, Bangladesh Children’s Hospital and Institute resident surgeon and neonatal and child-adolescent disease specialist Dr. Farhana Ahmed said in the light of the memorable period, the severity of winter is increasing in the country. And at this time, children are more affected by flu, cold-cough, fever, pneumonia, diarrhea, bronchiolitis. And since children’s immune system is relatively low, they easily succumb to cold-related diseases.
He said that enough warm clothes and hand-socks and foot-socks should be worn to avoid cold-related problems including pneumonia. At the same time care should be taken that the child does not sweat in the heat. To increase the immune system, you should eat extra food rich in nutrients. No medicine including antibiotics should be given to children without doctor’s advice. The director of Bangladesh Children’s Hospital and Institute Professor Dr. Jahangir Alam said in the light of time, naturally, seasonal diseases due to cold increase in winter. In this hospital too, the number of patients with pneumonia and cold has slightly increased. But the number did not increase abnormally.
He said most of the children admitted to the hospital were below 5 years of age and were suffering from pneumonia. The speed of breathing can tell whether the child has pneumonia or not. The baby’s chest can be put inside. If you see the symptoms of rapid breathing and chest tightness, you may have pneumonia in the child. And not understanding the breathing pattern, many parents come to the hospital too late. It increases the risk of child death. During this kind of weather, importance should be given on feeding vitamin D, vitamin C and vitamin B complex along with balanced food to increase immunity of children.
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