Delhi’s toxic air quality results in more hospital admissions

New Delhi, Nov 17 (EFE).- Emergency hospital admissions in New Delhi have been rising significantly due to people suffering from respiratory problems linked to the the toxic air of the city, which has been facing dangerous air pollution levels for more than a week now.

The Indian capital’s air, polluted by toxic particles that have formed a dense grey cloud, is harming the population of around 20 million by slowly reducing long capacity, experts have warned.

“There is around 30-35 percent increase in the admission of patients who are having respiratory problems because of the air: chronic respiration diseases like asthma, CUPD (chronic obstructive-pulmonary disease), and restrictive lung diseases,” Punit Khanna, the head of respiratory medicine at the capital’s Manipal Hospital, told EFE.

The general symptoms include headache, vomiting, nausea, sinusitis, irritability, pain in the upper part of chest and neurological symptoms such as migraine and insomnia.

On Wednesday the average air quality index (AQI) in Delhi touched 400 during the peak hours, the mark which separates the “very poor” and “severe” categories, while some areas reported levels close to 500, the highest on the scale.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, these AQI levels affect even healthy persons and may seriously affect those with existing health conditions.

A large part of the pollution consists of PM2.5 particles in the air, which can damage the respiratory and cardiac systems if inhaled.

“Symptoms are more evident in people who are remaining outside for longer hours, like somebody who is on a two-wheeler and driving throughout the day or who is likely to be exposed to outdoor air,” Khanna said.

He said this was a situation which the capital’s residents lived through every year, especially those who had respiratory diseases.

‘In fact it is a routine for us to optimize their medication or increase their medication around this time because we always know this is going to happen,” the doctor said.

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