Health Ministry issues advisory to hospitals amid heatwaves

As several parts of the country are reeling under the severe heatwave, the Health Ministry has issued an advisory for state health departments, asking them to ensure preparedness and timely response in the face of above-normal maximum temperatures causing heat-related illnesses.

It has asked State nodal officers to disseminate the National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses (HRI) and implement health action plans at district and city levels.

With the maximum temperatures touching approximately 51 degrees Celsius, Delhiā€™s state-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital reported five deaths due to suspected heatstroke, while at least 12 are on ventilator support in critical condition, battling for their lives.

The advisory read that strengthening health system preparedness for HRI is crucial, including regular data submission on heatstroke cases and deaths, and organizing task force meetings for updating and approving heat health action plans.

It asked Health facilities to ensure the procurement of ORS packs, essential medicines, IV fluids, ice packs, and equipment for managing volume depletion and electrolyte imbalance. The advisory also urged officials to disseminate daily heatwave warnings from the India Meteorological Department.

Earlier, Union Health Minister J P Nadda reviewed the heatwave situation and preparedness of the Central Government Hospitals and directed for special heat stroke units to be set up in these hospitals. He instructed the officials to ensure that all hospitals are prepared for providing the best healthcare to the affected.

Meanwhile, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) in the national capital has confirmed that nine people have died due to heat stroke related illness in the last three weeks in the hospital.

Safdarjung hospital in the city has also reported seven deaths. These two hospitals have also reported several hospitalisations. Other hospitals in Delhi are also witnessing a spike in the number of heat stroke related patients.

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