Incessant noise can disrupt the body at a cellular level

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Noise is recognized environmental stressor and can exacerbate certain existing health conditions

New Delhi, 16 May 2018: According to a review of the underlying mechanisms that lead to noise-induced heart disease, environmental noise from traffic and aircraft disrupts the body on the cellular level to raise heart disease risk factors. Sound pollution can cause metabolic abnormalities and autonomic imbalance, characterized by dizziness and exercise intolerance. Exposure to this noise can also lead to behavioral issues in children.

Dust mixed with toxic fumes from vehicular exhausts can exacerbate lung and heart diseases and trigger death from heart attack, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung infections like pneumonia, and cancers of the lung and respiratory tract.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, ” Noise is an unwanted intrusive sound. A loud noise is 85 db or higher, or if a person has to raise his/her voice to speak with someone standing at a distance of 3 feet. Noise is a recognized environmental stressor, which has both physiological and psychological effects. It is associated with anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, insomnia, annoyance, stress. Progressive hearing loss may result from continuous and repeated exposure to loud noise. The safe limit for sounds at 85 db or less is 8 hours of exposure. Loud noise affects speech intelligibility and consequently work performance and increases chances of errors. Conversation has to be conducted at higher dbs for clear speech communication because of noise interference.”

People living in areas with high traffic noise are also 25% more likely than those in quieter neighborhoods to have symptoms of depression such as sadness, loneliness and trouble concentrating.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP, said, “Hospitals are noisy work places. Control of noise levels is very important in hospitals for patient well-being and healing. Noise creates an unhealthy work environment for doctors. It affects concentration and increases the chances of mistakes, which can be costly for the doctors and hospitals. Inability to hear the warning patient monitoring alarm over the general background noise in an ICU may have potentially disastrous outcome. Moreover, doctors too are prone to develop high BP and other negative effects on health.”
Some HCFI tips to reduce noise pollution.
• Traffic flow around schools and hospitals should be minimized as much as possible.
• Signboards displaying ‘Silence zone’, ‘No honking’ must be placed near these areas.
• Efforts should be made to ban the use of horns with jarring sounds, motorbikes with damaged exhaust pipes, and noisy trucks.
• The use of loudspeakers in parties and discos, as well as public announcements systems should be checked and discouraged.
• Noise rules must be stringent and strictly enforced near such silence zones.
• Planting trees along roads and in residential areas is a good way to reduce noise pollution as they absorb sound.

Hospitals should not insist upon patients to buy disposables and drugs only from their pharmacy: PIL

Health Care Comments Off

A PIL bearing Writ Petition (Civil) No. 337/2018 titled as “Siddharth Dalmia & Anr. versus Union of India & Others” has been filed and the same was listed for hearing on 14.05.2018 before the Honble Supreme Court of India.

The said PIL seeks Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, banning the Hospitals from compelling and forcing the patients and their attendants to mandatorily purchase medicines, medical devices and implants, and medical consumables from the Hospitals or hospital pharmacies only, and further declare and direct that the patients and their attendants shall be free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice and the Hospitals cannot compel the patients their attendants to buy medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from Hospitals or hospital pharmacy, and give appropriate directions to the Respondents ban the above malpractices and protect the interests of the buyers of the medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables.

Also, the PIL seeks Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, directing the Respondents to ensure that appropriate notice boards are put at appropriate and prominent places in the Hospitals and the hospital pharmacies that the patients and their attendants are free and have the choice to purchase medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables from the vendor of their choice including the hospital pharmacy

A Bench of Honble Mr. Justices SA Bobde and Honble Mr. Justice L Nageswara Rao which heard the matter on 14.05.2018 has been pleased to issue notice to the Central and State governments.

The case of the petitioners is that Hospitals and hospital pharmacies compel and force the patients to buy medicines from Hospitals and hospital pharmacies at MRP, or manipulated and artificially inflated prices leading to looting and profiteering at the cost of human life and suffering, when the medicines are available at lesser and heavily discounted prices in the open market from medical shops, retailers, dealers and distributors duly licensed and regulated by the Drug Control Department of state and central governments, by taking advantage of the ignorance, plight and adverse circumstances of the patients in the Hospitals all over India, and the Respondents despite knowing all these malpractices adopted by the Hospitals, have shut their eyes and totally ignored the interest and well-being of the patients, which they are bound to protect as the hospitals over which the Respondents have complete power and authority, and these acts of financial malpractices by the hospitals all over India are against the humans, humanity, morality and the right of the citizens of Indian to live a dignified and respectable life, and die in a dignified and peaceful way as mandated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Also, it is obligatory on the Respondents to provide best and affordable health care to the citizens of India, and such practices by the Hospitals, who are under the immediate control of the Respondents are against morality, public health, right to live a dignified and healthy life and public interest. And there is no law or policy framework to prevent this misuse, fleecing and looting by Hospitals, and the Respondents have left the people of India in the unscrupulous hands and the regressive regime of Hospitals.