CHENNAI:Dehydration and dizziness — two things that doctors in the city are not quite used to seeing in July have made a shocking resurgence this season. Over the past three days, physicians have reported at least six to seven persons coming in with extreme cases of dehydration, with some of them being brought in after they fainted. “The sudden spike in temperature has really hit people hard because they tend to believe that it’s just sun and no humidity in July. That’s why I have seen at least eight-10 patients a day who have been brought to the OP or even the Emergency ward with heat related issues,” said Dr S Balakrishnan, general physician.
With the temperatures soaring around the 40 degree Celsius mark almost every day this week, people haven’t been fainting during their hours of toil. It usually happens when they’re returning home. “People are fatigued and their fluid levels are extremely low by the time it’s evening. This is especially true for people who have workloads that involve a lot of travelling in the sun. Helmet or otherwise,” said Dr Raja Selvam, diabetologist and general physician. “When diabetes and hypertension are thrown into this mix, it can be deadly for them. Their resistance levels to the heat are much lower,” he added. The profiles of the people being brought in supports the theory — daily wagers and insurance salesmen, and medical reps themselves are amongst the people worst affected by the heat.
As a consequence of the heat wave, people who have kidney trouble and related conditions have also needed medical help to ensure it doesn’t hit them hard. “They come in voluntarily for more dialysis and also to get their kidney output checked, because they can be hit very hard by dehydration even while sitting at home,” said nephrologist Dr S Jayaganesh. “I would have seen at least two-three patients daily coming in when they didn’t need to mandatorily do it. The heat has them flustered psychologically,” he added.