Sunstroke danger to Haj pilgrims

Working papers presented by delegates at the International Mass Gathering Medicine Conference, which wound up in Jeddah Monday, have warned about the dangers of sunstrokes and natural disasters.

Dr. Abdul Razak Butchama, a mass gathering medicine consultant, said international statistics show that 548,000 people are killed yearly by sunstrokes around the globe. Most cases of death caused by sunstrokes are not reported. He said Haj is one of the times where cases of sunstroke can be measured.

He pointed out that heat exhaustion and loss of water and minerals in hot weather increase the density and the viscidity of blood which leads to coagulation of blood in the coronary and brain arteries. This increases the danger of death, especially in patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and cardiac diseases.

In his lecture, Dr. Robert Stephen, a public health consultant, referred to the natural disasters that occur yearly in the world and the number of deaths resulting from these disasters.

He pointed to Pakistan, which was hit by devastating floods over the past three months, and the hurricanes which annually devastate parts of East Asian countries.He said epidemic diseases also serve as a major reason for mass deaths.

The number of fatalities increases in developing countries because of lack of proper medical care and health services. Added to this are casualties resulting from traffic accidents.

Saudi Gazette

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