L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Super-specialists save patients with multi-organ problems 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 3
Diseases often attack multiple body systems, which then need a team work by super-speciality doctors so that the complete treatment can be given to reduce the suffering of the patient under one roof.

That, the super-specialists play a significant role in providing treatment to such patients with multiple-organ complications, was proved in two recent cases that were brought to Ludhiana Mediciti, a multi-speciality hospital in the city.

Giving more details, Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, Director and Chairman of Cardiac Sciences, at the hospital said Mr Anil Kumar, a 42-year-old resident of Phagwara, was in great pain as his right leg had turned black due to blockage in a leg artery. He was examined at various hospitals and advised amputation of the leg.

On examination, Dr Bedi realised that not only was Anil Kumar's leg turning gangrenous, but his heart and kidneys were also getting affected. The only way out was to try and prevent the spread of gangrene and the poisoning it was leading to. An embolectomy with removal of a large number of clots from the leg was immediately done and the leg improved dramatically.

"The kidneys of the patient continued to fail acutely and he had to be put on emergency hemodialyis, which was performed by Dr P.M. Sohal, the consultant nephrologist. The condition of the patient improved dramatically and his normal kidney function also took over." The second patient, said Dr Bedi, was Mr Niranjan Singh, a resident of Amritsar, who had severe heart disease along with kidney failure. He was considered to be at the high risk for bypass surgery and the resultant delay led to further damage to his heart.

Dr Bedi, who is a Limca world-record holder for the first beating heart surgery in the world, took up the challenging opportunity and successfully performed a beating-heart bypass surgery after a dialysis session by Dr Sohal. The other members of the team of super-specialists were Dr B.S. Sengar, Dr C.S. Sohal and Dr Gaurav Sachdeva.

Dr Bedi maintained that it was due to the availability of fully trained super-specialists round-the-clock at the hospital that patients like Mr Anil Kumar and Mr Niranjan Singh could be saved. He reiterated the commitment of Ludhiana Mediciti to provide world-level medical care to patients of this region.

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Health Dept gears up for pulse polio drive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
The Health Department here is all set for the pulse polio immunisation drive in the district on January 7 when more than 5.39 lakh children in the age group of 0-5 years will be administered polio drops.

Presiding over a preparatory meeting of all senior medical officers in the district here today, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Yash Pal Singla, said the health staff, with the assistance of other medical institutions, voluntary organisations and service clubs, would put up some 2100 polio booths, including 900 within the city, and nearly 8400 volunteers would be deployed on these booths.

He said 100 mobile teams and 72 transit posts would administer polio drops to children on highways, railway stations and bus stands in the district, as also in labour colonies and slums. Teams of volunteers will go from door to door in the city, as well as in all villages on January 8 and 9 to ensure complete coverage of the polio vaccination in the district.

According to Dr Singla, a meeting of the district task force was being convened by the Deputy Commissioner here on January 4 to give final touches to the arrangements for the campaign and to coordinate the deployment of volunteers from different government departments, institutions and voluntary organisations.

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Health Watch
Don’t let cold catch you off guard

Winter evokes images of sparkling snowflakes and skaters gracefully gliding across the ice. But it can also be a time of illness and injury, if people fail to take adequate health and safety precautions.

Cold

More than 100 viruses can cause cold, the world’s most common illness, so few people escape being exposed to at least one of them.

In the US, most people average around three colds every year. Once it enters the body through the nose or throat, the virus begins to multiply, causing any of a number of symptoms - sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, aches and pains, mild fever, nasal congestion and coughing.

Influenza

A contagious respiratory infection, influenza is not a serious health threat for most people. However, for the elderly or those with chronic health problem, influenza can result in serious complications, such as pneumonia.

Symptoms of the flu usually develop suddenly, about three days after being exposed to the virus. They include fever, chill, cough, sore throat, runny nose and soreness and aching in the back, arms and legs.

Although these are similar to those caused by cold viruses, flu symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer. Abdominal cramps, vomiting or diarrhea, symptoms of what is commonly called stomach or intestinal flu do not accompany influenza.

The flu is highly contagious and if it occurs in your family or community, there is no practical way to avoid exposure to the virus.

Frostbite

It is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. It causes loss of feeling and colour in affected areas.

It often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes.

Frostbite can permanently damage the body and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect exposed skin, for frostbite may be setting in. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite: a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness.

Hypothermia

Serious health problems can result from prolonged exposure to the cold.

The most common cold-related problems are hypothermia and frostbite.

When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy.

The result is hypothermia or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.

Hypothermia can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 °F) if one becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water.

Victims are most often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; and (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods - the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.

Warnings signs: Adults: shivering/exhaustion; confusion/fumbling hands; memory loss/slurred speech; drowsiness.

Infants: bright red, cold skin; very low energy.

Remedies

For cold: The best way to treat a cold is to take a mild pain reliever, avoid unnecessary activity, get as much bedrest as possible and drink plenty of fluids, especially fruit juices.

Over-the-counter cough and cold remedies may relieve some of the symptoms but they will not prevent, cure or even shorten the course of the illness.

While there is no vaccine to protect you from catching a cold, there are ways to lessen your chances of coming down with the illness.

Keep up your natural resistance through good nutrition and getting enough sleep and exercise.

Turn your thermostat down and keep the humidity up in your home.

Avoid direct contact with those who have colds and wash your hands frequently.

Drink herbal tea, vegetable and chicken soup and eat dates during weather.

For Influenza: Bedrest, a mild pain reliever and lots of fluids are the best treatment. (Caution: Unless advised by a physician, a child or teenager with flu-like illness should not take aspirin. Its use in the presence of a flu infection is linked with an increased risk of Reye’s syndrome. Instead, use another mild pain reliever that does not contain aspirin.)

Antibiotics are not effective against flu viruses.

For frostbite: To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually. Wrap the area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc.

If no warm wrappings are available, place frostbitten hands under the armpits or use your body to cover the affected area. Seek medical attention immediately.

Do not rub frostbitten areas.

Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes - this increases the damage. Immerse the affected area in warm - not hot - water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).

Or, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.

For hypothermia: To prevent further heat loss, wrap the patient in a warm blanket. A hot water bottle or electric heating pad (set on low) can by applied to the person’s stomach.

If the victim is alert, give small quantities of warm food or drink. Do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not give a hot shower or bath, since it can cause shock. Generally, do not try to treat hypothermia at home. If the victim has wet clothing on him, remove it.

Warm the centre of the body first - chest, neck, head, and groin - using an electric blanket, if available.

Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.

Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.

After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck. Get medical attention as soon as possible.

— Dr Anil Dheer

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Channa Alamgir to promote hockey
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 3
Upset over the debacle of the Indian hockey team in the Doha Asian Games, a number of former Olympians and hockey enthusiasits besides NRIs have come forward to put the game back on track. They have resolved to work together so that the game could regain its lost glory.

The list of such game lovers increased today with former kabaddi player, Channa Alamgir, announcing his desire to join hands with them in this task. Channa Alamgir, along with the organisers of the Canada Kabaddi Cup, have decided to promote hockey at the grass-root level.

Giving details of their plan to promote the game, Channa Alamgir and Mr Rajinder Singh Hissowal said they had chalked out a programme to organise an all-India hockey tournament for junior boys here in association with the Punjab Hockey Association and the Ludhiana District Hockey Association.

"Our aim is to make the game of hockey a professional one like cricket and kabaddi and to set up hockey academies in the state where talented youth can be nourished," they said. They urged Punjabi NRIs, sports promoters and organisers of different kabaddi tournaments to come forward and contribute generously so that the game could be put on track again.

Channa Alamgir and Hissowal announced a cash award of $ 5 lakh for the Indian hockey team if it wins a gold medal in the Bejing Olympics. If the team qualifies for the Olympics, financial assistance would also be given, they added.

They also promised a cash prize of $ 1 lakh for any Punjabi player, winning a gold medal in Beijing.

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