Epidemiology of Orthopaedic Morbidities in Pilgrims of Shri Amarnath Yatra RC01-RC04
Dr. Vishal Kumar,
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, PGIMER, Chandigarh-160014, India.
Introduction: In a religiously diverse country like India, visits to holy shrines situated at geographically diverse topographical spots are a common norm. “Shri Amarnath shrine” is one of the most sought after and difficult pilgrimage in the country and because of the suboptimal terrain, people who flock to take this trip have to face major medical issues, every year, moreover in absence of streamlined adequate medical facility.
Aim: To describe the Epidemiology of Orthopaedic morbidities at high altitude pilgrimage sites and formulate an advisory for the public and the authorities alike of the critical steps required to minimise the same.
Materials and Methods: All the individuals with isolated orthopaedic morbidities who presented to our base camp hospital at Baltal from July 11th to 26th 2017 were enrolled in the study. Patients with head injuries, Blunt trauma chest and Blunt trauma abdomen were excluded. Patients with aggravation of preexisting orthopaedic morbidities (low back ache, knee pain) were included in the study. Also persons who either used helicopter or small litters as a mode of travel were also excluded.
Results: Out of the 253 patients presented to us 54.7% were males and 45.3% were females. About 60% of the patients were from the northern and eastern part of India. Patients between the age group of 21-40 years were most frequently injured. About 60 percent of the patients sustained injury while travelling on foot and the mode of injury was fall. Aggravation of the preexisting low back ache was the most common (33%) orthopaedic morbidity. Most common fracture encountered was that of the distal end of radius. Most common reason for immediate referral was open fractures.
Conclusion: Adequate exploration and addressal of the trauma victims during pilgrimage is the need of the hour. Results of this study may be used for planning preventive measures and strategies for strengthening the medical infrastructure at the base camp hospitals so as to decrease the orthopaedic morbidity.