‘Emergency’ in hospitals as food poisoning sweeps Punjab

As many as 18,000 people admitted to hospitals across province

Adnan Lodhi July 02, 2023
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An emergency situation was declared in Punjab and Lahore's public and private hospitals as around 18,000 patients were admitted with gastrointestinal ailments during the Eid holidays. Around 3,000 people were admitted in Lahore’s hospitals during the holidays, complaining of heartburn, stomach pain and high blood pressure.

On the other hand, the Punjab Health Department already alerted hospital administrations and advised them to provide the best facilities in emergency wards.

According to details, around 18,000 patients were admitted in Punjab and Lahore's big hospitals for emergency services due to overeating. The rush was seen at the Lahore’s main big hospitals, including Mayo Hospital, Services Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital, Government Shahdara Hospital and other private hospitals during all 3 days of Eid-ul-Azha. Professors, Doctors, Nurses and paramedical staff were all on duty to provide medical facilities to emergency patients and additional arrangements were made at hospitals to accommodate more patients.

Eid-ul-Azha is a religious festival where thousands of people sacrifice animals across the country, including in Lahore. On the auspicious occasion, families and friends hold gatherings where they eat the meat of the sacrificed animals and other foods, usually ignoring precautionary measures and falling ill as a result of overeating. Every year, emergency situation erupt at the provincial capital’s hospitals and thousands of people are admitted with gastrointestinal issues.

According to an estimate, 18,000 patients received emergency treatment during the three days of Eid in public hospitals across Punjab. Emergency wards were full of patients suffering from gastrointestinal ailments and stomach pain. During the first two days of Eid in Lahore, 2,000 patients were admitted to the emergency wards of the six big hospitals.

As many as 650 patients were admitted to Mayo Hospital Lahore and 600 to Service hospitals, while of these 600 patients, 200 are below the age of ten. Meanwhile, 200 patients were admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Lahore and 200 patients to Mian Munshi Hospital. This information was confirmed by an official of the Punjab Health Department.

‘We advise the public to use lemon and yoghurt while eating meat, while patients suffering from heart disease, diabetes, kidney issues and blood pressure should avoid overeating. Besides this, people must also eat vegetables, whilst cutting down the consumption of meat during the summer season,’ said Senior Professor Dr Masood Sheikh".

Besides the emergency wards of hospitals, citizens also thronged pharmacies and medical stores across the city to purchase medicine to counteract the effects of overeating.

PRO Lahore General Hospital Zahid Chaudhry said that most patients with stomach pain and food poisoning issues were admitted during Eid and patients are still being admitted with gastrointestinal issues. ‘Over the past 24 hours, we received around 100 patients,’ he added.

Punjab Health Department Spokesman Syed Hamad Raza said that the Department already advised hospitals to make arrangements ahead of the Eid holidays and due to comprehensive preparations, hospital administrations provided adequate facilities to patients during all 3 days of Eid. The Punjab Health Department was also monitoring the arrangements made by the hospitals during the three-day period.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2023.


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