Emergency room visits in the UAE are skyrocketing in Ramadan, according to ER medics who attributed the rise in cases to overeating at iftar and suhoor.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr. Ola Nagi Ibrahim, General Practitioner at Bareen International Hospital, said:
"We are receiving too many patients with abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea in Ramadan, it is really too much now. Sometimes we receive an entire family all at once."
The GP revealed that her ER is receiving around fifteen patients daily during the holy month, which is double the cases received on regular days. The majority of them were caused by overeating or food poisoning.
"People are eating too much in Ramadan and require medication after they're admitted to the hospital," she explained.
Ibrahim also said that most patients that were admitted during the day needed urgent treatment with IV fluids because they were severely dehydrated, while those who came in after iftar were treated for stomach problems.
"The numbers have doubled in Ramadan"
Another UAE based doctor, Shafqut Jalal, Assistant Head of the Emergency Department at Universal Hospital also weighed in on the matter, saying:
"The numbers have doubled in Ramadan."
Jalal said a few of the reasons behind the surge in patients coming in to the ER in the first few days of the holy month include people overindulging in food, eating unhygienic meals or suffering burns while cooking.
She also stated that diabetic patients who are fasting during the day without checking in with their doctors are also being admitted to ERs across the country.
It's all about focusing on quantity and quality...
Dr. Magdi Mohamed, an ER specialist at Burjeel Hospital, also said cases at the medical center where he works have risen since the beginning of Ramadan.
"We are seeing a growing number of cases because of the large quantity of food and the lack of quality of the food the people are eating," he explained.
His advice to those fasting is to break their fast "with dates, water and a light meal, such as soup or salad," and consume a main meal that's low in fat while also high in complex carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.