34 heart attack deaths so far this Mandala season

Pilgrims mistake cardiac arrest for gas trouble, according to health experts
34 heart attack deaths so far this Mandala season
File photo of Sabarimala pilgrims

Pathanamthitta

As many as 34 Ayyappa pilgrims died of heart attack after the beginning of the Madala Makaravilakku festival season this year. Health department sources said many youngsters also suffered cardiac arrests this year owing to changes in their lifestyle, unhealthy food habits and lack of exercises. Most of the cardiac arrest incidents occur when pilgrims avoid early signs. 
Pilgrims mistakenly relate cardiac arrests with gas trouble and it continues till they complete the darshan. The Health Department also opened heath centres at various places in Sabarimala and deployed paramedical teams to help pilgrims with symptoms of cardiac arrest while climbing hills. Now, cardiac care units are functioning at Pamba, Marakoottam, Appachimedu and Sannidhanam. 
Many defribilerators are available with oxygen parlours at various locations. Pilgrims with a history of hypertension are advised to take medical aid from Pamba cardiac unit before climbing hills. Those who feel breathless or pain around chest, neck and shoulder can approach the nearest oxygen parlour.

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