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Vietnamese suffer burns, heatstroke amid heatwave

Vietnamese suffer burns, heatstroke amid heatwave

Monday, March 04, 2024, 14:42 GMT+7
Vietnamese suffer burns, heatstroke amid heatwave
Saigonese struggle with the baking weather. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A prolonged heatwave in Ho Chi Minh City and southern Vietnam has resulted in rising cases of sunburn and heatstroke, as well as a surge in the number of patients with respiratory illnesses.

Children, elderly people, and outdoor workers are the most vulnerable to the effects of hot weather.

The heatwave is forecast to continue sweeping through the southern region this week, with the highest temperature reaching 36 degrees Celsius, according to the national weather center.

Over the past few days, many children's hospitals and dermatology medical facilities in the southern metropolis such as the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Dermato Venereology and the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital have admitted many patients suffering heat-related illnesses.

N.T.P., 45, recently sought medical attention at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Dermato Venereology after experiencing severe sunburn sustained during travel and work in hot conditions.

She was diagnosed with eczema caused by sunlight exposure.

The heat has worsened the health of D., a 70-year-old resident of Ho Chi Minh City, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension.

Due to scorching temperatures, he has felt tired and lost appetite for the past few days.

He also exhibited symptoms such as a cough, weeping, and a runny nose though he took some medicine.

The elderly man was rushed to Thong Nhat Hospital for a medical examination, and he was diagnosed with bronchitis.

Dr. Truong Quang Anh Vu, head of the outpatient department at Thong Nhat Hospital, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the number of elderly patients surges during the baking weather.

Hospitalizations for heat-related illnesses have jumped 20 percent since the region's hot weather began, said the doctor.

The hospital admits some 2,200-2,500 patients, mainly those with heart and respiratory diseases, per day. 

An elderly man received a medical checkup at Thong Nhat Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City due to the extreme heat. Photo: Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre

An elderly man receives a medical checkup at Thong Nhat Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City due to the extreme heat. Photo: Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre

Dr. Tran Vu Anh Dao from the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Dermato Venereology said that the number of patients accessing burn services has risen over the past few days.

These patients suffered eczema and burn injuries due to sizzling temperatures.

Also, the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital has recently admitted a large number of children with eczema, rash, pimple, dyspepsia, or even pneumonia, said Dr. Nguyen Minh Tien, deputy director of the hospital.

How to prevent heatstroke

Exposure to heat may double the risk of heatstroke.

To protect children from heatstroke, parents should let them play indoors, or in an airy and shady space, according to Dr. Tien.

Children should be exposed to sunlight gradually to be acquainted with the heat before they engage in compulsory outdoor activities.

They should not do outside exercise for long periods.

If children feel ill, teachers or parents should stop them from taking part in further activities and allow them to rest in a shady area, said the doctor.

It is vital that children should drink plenty of water if they study outside or participate in a sports activity during the hot weather.

Furthermore, they should wear light, loose clothing and a floppy hat to prevent heatstroke.

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Tieu Bac - Xuan Mai - Thu Hien - Le Phan / Tuoi Tre News

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