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Southern heat wave drives more patients to hospitals

Update: March, 21/2014 - 08:38
The number of patients admitted to hospitals has increased significantly in HCM City due to a prolonged heat wave.—VNA/VNS Photo The Anh

HCM CITY (VNS)— The prolonged heat wave in the last few days in HCM City and other southern provinces has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of patients at hospitals.

Temperatures are expected to continue to rise as peak period of the dry season begins in April, said Nguyen Minh Giam, deputy director of the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre for the southern region.

The average temperature of the region measured by weather stations has been 37 degrees Celsius in recent days.

The temperature in HCM City has been as high as 38 degrees Celsius, and in Tay Ninh Province 38.5. Binh Phuoc Province's Dong Xoai Town recorded a high of 39.

"In HCM City, the temperature is not much different from last year. However, due to the road surfaces that absorb heat, it could go up 2-3 degrees," Giam said.

In the next few days, temperatures are expected to be 37-39 degrees Celsius, with few clouds and no rain.

The peak period for high temperatures is from April to the first half of May.

The influence of solar radiation and tropical depression from the West will cause high temperatures to rise and fall, with each peak period lasting from five days to one week.

Overloaded

The heat has caused a patient overload at local hospitals. Children's Hospital 1 in recent days has received up to 7,000 patients compared to the normal level of 5,000.

At Children's Hospital 2, the number of children with respiratory diseases has increased dramatically. Normally during the week, the inpatient figures are 120 but that has risen to 200, including many children with severe pneumonia.

The Polyclinic Hospital in Binh Duong City is also overloaded, with hundreds of children affected by viral fever, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhoea, measles and food poisoning.

The number of adult patients is also increasing in major hospitals in HCM City. Normally, Cho Ray Hospital receives an average of 2,600 – 2,700 patients per day, but last week, the number of patients increased by 22 per cent.

At the HCM City Medical University Hospital, the increase is up to 10 per cent over last week. According to Au Thanh Tung, chief of Clinic Services of the hospital, the heat not only affects those with a chronic disease but also healthy people.

To increase resistance, the elderly should eat soft and diluted foods, and drink plenty of water, said Nguyen Trung Anh, of Geriatric Hospital Central. —VNS


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