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355 cardiac catheterizations, 19 open heart operations conducted on Hajj pilgrims: Saudi Health Ministry

The ministry’s Save a Life program provides pilgrims with free specialized medical services, including open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, kidney dialysis, gastrointestinal endoscopy and birth delivery. (SPA)
JEDDAH: The Health Ministry said its hospitals in Makkah and Madinah have so far conducted 355 cardiac catheterizations and 19 open heart operations on pilgrims during this Hajj season.
They also carried out 1,277 dialysis procedures, 72 binocular operations and 454 general surgeries.
The number of patients visiting emergency sections in Makkah and Madinah hospitals reached 18,436, while the numbers visiting out-patient clinics and centers reached 27,738 and 188,402, respectively, the ministry said.
Almost 2,000 pilgrims were admitted to hospital. There were 32 cases of thermal stress and one of sunstroke.
The ministry’s Save a Life program provides pilgrims with free specialized medical services, including open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, kidney dialysis, gastrointestinal endoscopy and birth delivery.
The ministry has also activated field and emergency medical services during the Hajj season, preparing 100 small ambulances to work as mobile intensive care units, and 80 well-equipped large ambulances. It has also prepared some 29,000 medical practitioners.

Tips and advice for diabetics during Hajj
Health professionals recommend that diabetics who plan to perform Hajj to monitor their blood glucose to maintain control of normal levels and take their medication as prescribed.
They stressed the importance of diet, exercises and medication, either tablets or insulin, to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which will allow diabetic pilgrims to perform Hajj without causing any harm to their health.
“Every diabetic patient who performs Hajj should carry an identification card or wear a medic-alert bracelet, providing the name of his illness, the name of his treatment, and his dose.”
The identification card should be electronic to carry sufficient information, which shows the patient’s history, medications and condition.
The diabetic patient should bring an adequate supply of their medication for their travels and stay during Hajj so as not to disturb the performance of the rituals.
Patients who use insulin should also purchase a refrigerated case for preserving insulin to avoid degradation.

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