The hospital has one patient whose documents will mention 'pollution-related' as a diagnosis. "There are two patients with acute exacerbation.
Amid deteriorating air quality in the national capital, a private city hospital is planning to write “pollution-related” in diagnosis of patients, in what could be a first for a medical facility here. The Holy Family Hospital in Okhla will start this process for their ICU patients, said Dr Sumit Ray, head of the department of critical care at the hospital.
“Worsening lung condition can be either due to infection, seasonal change or due to pollution. With X-rays, cultures, and certain bio-markers, we will be able to rule out the possibility of the condition being due to infection or any other factor. If those are negative, and if there was a spike in pollution levels at that time and there was no other reason that triggered the problem, we will put it in the final diagnosis that it was triggered by pollution,” he said.
When asked if it will also be done for the OPD patients, he said that in the OPD setting it may be difficult because one doesn’t carry out as many tests as are carried out for patients who are hospitalised.
“We have been talking with our colleagues about this. This is the first time any hospital will be writing such a diagnosis,” he said. Recently, a patient in Canada with breathing issues was diagnosed as suffering from “climate change”. “This story made an impact on me and I thought that we have to make it a part of our diagnosis. It will be a constant reminder that the air quality levels are worsening,” he said.
Currently, the hospital has one patient whose documents will mention ‘pollution-related’ as a diagnosis. “There are two patients with acute exacerbation. For one of these patients, we are sure that the condition is pollution related and it will be there in the final diagnosis, while for the other patient, we are still evaluating,” Ray added.