Hospitals overcrowded with cold-hit patients

Mohammad Al Amin

15 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

A growing number of patients affected with cold-related diseases are thronging different hospitals in the capital and elsewhere of the country.

Hospital sources said among the patients, children are suffering mostly from acute pneumonia, bronchiolitis, respiratory infections and cold-related diarrhoea while elderly persons are mostly facing respiratory infections, asthma and bronchitis.

Around 140 upazilas across the country are witnessing a rise in the number of cold-related patients and most of the upazilas are in the northern and southern districts, including Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur, Kurigram, Barishal, Bhola and Pirojpur.

Talking to the daily sun, physicians at some hospitals said they are facing a rush of patients affected with cold-related diseases since the cold spell began at the end of November.

The number of patients admitted to district and upazila level hospitals has also increased as mild to moderate cold waves have been sweeping across the country, sources said.

During visits to a number of hospitals in the capital, families of cold-hit patients, including children and elderly persons were seen standing in long queues in front of out-patient departments.

Sources at Dhaka Shishu Hospital said the hospital has provided treatment to around 256 pneumonia patients in December alone. The public hospital is also witnessing a surge in the number of children with pneumonia, cold diarrhoea and bronchiolitis both in its outdoor and indoor departments.

“During this winter, there has been a 50 per cent rise in the number of patients both in outdoor and indoor units of the hospital since late November,” Dhaka Shishu Hospital acting director Syed Shafi Ahmed Muaz told the daily sun.

He said children and infants affected with bronchiolitis, asthma, pneumonia and viral cold diarrhoea are being brought to the hospital.

The hospital is also providing treatment to children suffering from acute respiratory infection, fever, common cold, coughing, running nose and sore throat.

From the beginning of December, at least 500 child patients are receiving services at the OPD and the emergency department of the children hospital every day. 

Around 30 to 50 pneumonia patients are being admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) every day since the beginning of December and many of these patients are referred by the Dhaka Shishu Hospital and Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

On an average, around 200 child patients are receiving treatment at the hospital’s OPD every day, 60 per cent of them are suffering from cold-related diseases, hospital sources said.

The National Health Emergency control room of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) officials said they opened separate monitoring wing in December to keep the record of the flow of the cold-related patients receiving treatment in hospitals.

The control room officials on Monday said they recorded 4,105 patients with acute respiratory infection, 4,600 diarrhoea patients while another 4223 patients were suffering from different cold-related diseases across the country in December.

According to the control room records, 12,230 patients suffering from cold-related diseases took treatment at government hospitals in December.