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Monday May 20, 2024

Acute bronchitis, asthma complications may pose serious threats

By Muhammad Qasim
December 26, 2022

Islamabad : Both the private and public sector healthcare facilities in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have started receiving a significantly higher number of patients with acute bronchitis and asthma complications mainly because of extreme falls in mercury and the careless attitude of patients suffering from asthma.

Data collected by ‘The News’ has revealed that the number of patients reaching healthcare facilities with respiratory distress is continuously on the rise and the majority of these patients are with asthma or acute bronchitis however a good number of patients have been diagnosed as overlapped cases of asthma and bronchitis.

Studies reveal that acute bronchitis, also known as chest cold is inflammation of the main airways of the lungs with symptoms including cough, wheezing, fever, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort that generally lasts from a few days to two to three weeks in most of the cases however in some cases, the symptoms may last for 10 weeks. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses like colds and flu, influenza and that is why antibiotics are not effective in most cases of bronchitis.

According to many health experts serving at the public sector healthcare facilities in the twin cities, the majority of patients with acute bronchitis or with complications of asthma reach hospitals after developing severe symptoms that show carelessness on the part of the patients. Also, it is observed that most of the patients have little awareness of what serious damage, acute bronchitis and severe asthma can cause.

Experts say that public sector hospitals have adequate facilities for the management of patients with asthma and bronchitis but the late presentation of patients makes the condition of a number of patients serious in nature. According to experts, a number of factors are responsible for the increase in the number of cases one of which is that majority of our population does not opt for vaccinations against flu and pneumonia. Even patients with pre-existing lung diseases do not give much attention to vaccination. Also, most of the patients with respiratory tract infections do not follow quarantine or isolation at home which results in the spread of the disease.

Self-medication is another cause behind the rise in the number of cases with complications of asthma and bronchitis as unnecessary use of broad-spectrum antibiotics without a prescription from qualified doctor results in multidrug-resistant infections. People must be aware of the fact that status asthmaticus is respiratory failure, a severe condition in which asthma attacks follow one another without pause. It is a life-threatening condition and the patient may need admission to the intensive care unit of a hospital for its management. Inability to complete sentences, drowsiness, bluish discoloration of fingers and face and no response to routine medicines along with agitation and restlessness are the main symptoms of it.

Experts say that to avoid asthma attacks, patients suffering from asthma should strictly avoid exposure to extreme cold and should not stay outside their homes from evening till morning if possible. Asthma patients must avoid dust, smoke, exertion, heavy exercise, and prolonged use of gas heaters. They should also avoid self-medication and get the vaccination for flu and pneumonia in winter. The most important thing to avoid complications in the case of acute bronchitis or asthma is that patients must follow their physicians’ advice on treatment protocols.