A large number of children fell sick in December due to the ongoing cold wave, since they are more vulnerable to infections that result in chronic colds, influenza, pneumonia, and diarrhoea.
DMCH Department of Pediatric Surgery Prof Dr Shahnur Islam said that during winter, breathing difficulties, asthma, and respiratory problems increase in children.
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Hospitals in Dhaka saw a rise in the number of children infected with chronic cold, influenza, pneumonia, and diarrhoea in the month of December 2017 Nashirul Islam/Bangla Tribune
“The number of patients who have to be operated on has increased,” he said. “On January 4, I was supposed to operate on a baby girl, but was unable to do so as she had caught a cold.
“However, after I explained the situation to the patient’s mother, she insisted that we continue with the surgery. Incidents like these always make things more difficult.
Dr Shahnur said there was also a patient who was fine the day before his surgery was scheduled, but caught a fever after being admitted to the operation theatre.
“The operation had to be halted at that point because he could die after being administered anaesthesia,” Dr Shahnur stated.
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Hospitals have seen an increasing number of patients as temperatures drop Narishul Islam/Bangla Tribune
Afroza Banu, who brought her two-year-old daughter Asma to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), said: “Although I tried my best to prevent it, Asma has caught a severe cold and cough.”
The Centre for Women and Child Health of Green Life Medical College Professor, Dr Sufia Khatun, said cough infections can cause influenza which can can lead to pneumonia from bronchiolitis.
At this point, children are vulnerable to asthma, skin problems and allergies, while many also contract diarrhoea.
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Once children catch a cold, it takes them at least 15 days to recover Nashirul Islam/Bangla Tribune
Sufia told the Bangla Tribune: “Many diarrhoea patients are getting admitted to hospitals at this moment. The children are also suffering from bouts of vomiting and have blood present in their stool.”
If the child is vomiting, Sufia suggests they be taken to the hospital as soon as possible, instead of being given oral saline.
“Complications occur when parents do not know how to prepare the oral saline in the proper way at home. The consumption of this saline can actually worsen the child’s condition,” Sufia added.
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Mothers wait with children in their arms at Dhaka Medical College Hospital Nashirul Islam/Bangla Tribune
Residential Medical Officer of Tejgaon police station Dr Abdullah Al Maruf said: “Doctors advise parents who have children with respiratory problems to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.”
Dr Shahnur further added: “We asked the parents to take special care of their children at this time to prevent them from catching colds. Once they do, they usually take 15 days to recover at the hospital. This is very risky since they can be exposed to a variety of other infections during the stay.”
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune