High altitude trek needs great caution: Dr Sushil

JAMMU: With an aim to sensitise the common populace and pilgrims about the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases Dr. Sushil Sharma underlined numerous factors responsible for causing cardiac morbidities and mortalities while screening patients belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds and those who are at larger risk owing to the environmental factors.
Re-emphasising his resolve in this direction today he along with his team of doctors conducted a day long camp in the Ram Mandir, Purani Mandi in order to sensitise and screen the pilgrims staying there for the purpose of Amarnath Yatra.
More than 400 people were screened and advised during the camp.
Clinical and lab evaluation like ECG, blood sugar and free medicines were distributed as per the requirement.
It is a matter of concern that number of casualties were reported in the previous years despite all facilities from the government at every step, Dr Sushil said.
So, he added, there is need to understand that ignoring any symptoms particularly chest tightness or pain, congestion, inability to walk, shortness of breath, restlessness would be fatal and require quick medical attention.
It becomes more alarming for those who are already at risk, Dr. Sushil said.
As more people are embarking on the arduous journey to the Holy Cave, he said, high altitude and lower oxygen availability need to be considered.
For most people this causes few problems, but for those with lung or heart disease, altitude can have a negative effect on health, he said adding that acute exposure to high altitude can affect the cardiovascular system by decreasing oxygen in the blood.
It also increases demand on the heart, adrenaline release and pulmonary artery pressures, he said adding that so ascending high altitude proves more detrimental to those who are already having a heart problem.
Moreover patients with prior high altitude pulmonary edema should avoid to travel high altitudes, he cautioned.
Besides medication, there are several precautionary measures that are needed to be followed while undertaking such pilgrims, primarily, slow ascent, and stay hydrated, no intoxication and immediate reporting and decent when you feel any sort of discomfort may help in mitigation of severe events. Moreover, one should not be cautious only about his/her health but should equally be concerned about the conditions of other pilgrims undertaking the same pilgrimage, he advised.
Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha Shamsher Singh Manhas and S. P Verma and Dr Satya Narayan also graced the occasion . Mahant Rameshwar Dass appreciated the efforts of Dr Sushil and his team for conducting cardiac awareness camp for the Amaranth pilgrims.
Others who were instrumental in this endeavour included Dr Opinder Kumar, Dr Vijay Singh, Dr Kewal Sharma , Dr Amir Suhail and Dr Rahul singh . Paramedics and Volunteers who were part of the team includes Vikas Kumar, Gourav sharma, Ankush Kohli, Suresh Baigra, Clinton Sharma, Vikas Sabharwal, Rajinder Singh, Aman Gupta, Raghav Rajput, Kamal Sharma and Rajeev Vohra.

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