Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh conducts survey to assess damage caused by high levels of air pollution and smog

Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh conducts survey to assess damage caused by high levels of air pollution and smog
  • Survey conducted across Delhi University, Dwarka, Rohini and Greater Noida
  • 1044 students took part in the  survey
  • 53% of the students suffered from some form of  respiratory ailment; 50% complained of aggravated symptoms

 New Delhi, November 15, 2017: Over the last week, air quality in Delhi has been steadily deteriorating. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has stated that Delhi is in a state of “Public Health Emergency”. The air quality index is extremely poor with PM 2.5 at hazardous levels between 350-700 at many locations across Delhi.  Schools also declared holidays to ensure students do not get adversely affected by the pollution. The Government also considered re-introducing the odd even scheme to reduce fuel emission levels. To fully assess the adverse effects of the air pollution on people, the Department of Pulmonology and Sleep Disorders at Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, under the aegis of Dr Vikas Maurya, Senior Consultant & Head of Department – Respiratory Medicine & Interventional Pulmonology, FHSB conducted a random survey of the respiratory symptoms and lung functions of people in Delhi-NCR.

The survey was conducted between the 6th and the 11th of November at 5 different colleges in Delhi University, Dwarka, Rohini, and Greater Noida. Out of the 1044 students that were enrolled in the study, 72% were males and 28% were females. They were between the ages of 18 to 24. They were asked to fill a questionnaire that consisted of respiratory symptoms, pollution, allergies and use of inhalers. The lung function was tested by peak expiratory flow meter and those who tested positive for airflow impairment were further tested by spirometry (measures volume and speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled)

Key Findings from the survey:

  • 53% of the students had visible respiratory symptoms like cough, sputum production, complain of chest tightness and breathlessness
  • 52% said they were allergic to dust, smoke and pollens
  • 51% of students said they experienced aggravation in their symptoms with pollution
  • 42% of students showed lung function impairment after their lung function was tested conducted
  • 11% of students were already on inhalers for their symptoms

Dr Maurya said, “The objective of conducting the survey was to have a greater insight to the after-effects of air pollution and the dangers that it posed. Delhi’s air quality remains in the emergency category and stringent measures have to be taken to bring the problem under control. There was a need to involve the youth in such a study because it makes them aware of how the problem of pollution can deter their growth. It makes them more involved in the fight against air pollution.”

Mr Mahipal Bhanot, Facility Director, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh said, “We are committed in our endeavour to fight air pollution. The reasons for such high levels of pollution are multiple – lax monitoring mechanisms, absence of a comprehensive policy framework around safe environment and lack of proactive action to restrict hazardous activities. The Lancet Medical Journal has reported that in 2015, pollution claimed nearly 3 million lives in India. Keeping these facts in mind, Fortis works actively to ensure all its stakeholders areeducated on preventive steps that can be taken during this critical public health situation.”


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