COVID Aftermath: Spike In Heart And Respiratory Emergencies

| Updated: January 5, 2023 2:30 pm

COVID-19’s effect on the heart and lungs has been seen, as many patients experienced long-term COVID effects. While Corona infections have decreased, 2022 saw an unexpected increase in cardiac and respiratory emergencies.

As per EMRI 108 ambulance data for 2022, respiratory emergencies were at a five-year high, while cardiac emergencies were at a three-year high.

In 2022, EMRI 108 received 74,780 calls, compared to an average of 65,000 annual calls for breathing issues in Gujarat in 2020 and 2021.

Similarly, in 2022, there were 56,277 cases of cardiac issues, compared to an average of 43,000 cases in 2020 and 2021. While respiratory illnesses increased by 14% compared to the four-year average (2018–2021), cardiac cases increased by 10%.

Experts in the city acknowledged an increase in heart and lung emergencies. 

There could be other traditional risk factors at play too—a 6-7% annual rise in cases, driven by many factors. Moreover, confounding factors such as lifestyle and stress may also play a role.

A pulmonologist said that after the second COVID wave, there were many patients with respiratory illnesses, and the trend of above-average cases continued in 2022. “While some problems persist, I believe factors such as pollution and better awareness after COVID are also responsible,” he said.

For diabetics, it was a difficult year, with a 31% rise compared to the four-year average. Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot accounted for 35% or more than one-third of the 12.85 lakh emergencies in the state in 2022.

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