56 Confirmed Deaths Due To Heat Stroke Recorded In India in Last Three Months: Health Ministry

   

NEW DELHI: India has recorded 56 deaths from 24,849 suspected cases of heat stroke between March and May, according to data by the Union Health Ministry.

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According to the data compiled by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 46 of these deaths were recorded in May alone (till May 30).

Between May 1 and 30, 19,189 suspected heat stroke cases were reported in the country, it said.

The data does not include deaths from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi and the final numbers are expected to be higher, a source said.

Heatwave conditions have gripped large swathes of the country. India on Friday alone reported at least 40 suspected heat-related deaths, 25 of them of staff deployed on Lok Sabha poll duty in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

According to officials, heat-related deaths were reported from Odisha (10), Bihar (8), Jharkhand (4) and Uttar Pradesh (1) on Thursday also. Rajasthan has reported at least five heat-related deaths so far.

According to health ministry data, Madhya Pradesh saw 14 confirmed deaths due to heat-related illnesses over the last three months followed by Maharashtra with 11.

“Reports on heat stroke deaths are being awaited from states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. Some states have reported issues in data entry. The data visible may not be final submission from states. So the numbers are expected to be higher than this,” an official source said.

According to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the cause of death should be certified as heat stroke or hyperthermia where the measured antemortem body temperature at the time of collapse was more than or equal to 40.6 degrees Celsius.

‘Autopsy Findings in Heat Related Deaths’, a set of guidelines released by the NCDC in March, defined heat-related death as a death in which exposure to high ambient temperature either caused the loss of life or significantly contributed to it.

Deaths may also be certified as heat stroke or hyperthermia with lower body temperatures when cooling has been attempted prior to arrival at the hospital or when there is a clinical history of mental status changes and elevated liver and muscle enzymes, the document stated.

It also said that in cases where the antemortem body temperature cannot be established but the environmental temperature at the time of collapse was high, an appropriate heat-related diagnosis should be listed as the cause of death or as a significant contributing condition.

 

 

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