Bad weather and even freezing temperatures in some mountainous areas have sent many people in northern Vietnam to hospitals. The number of stroke cases has surged sharply.

Over the last few days, Bach Mai Hospital has received a higher-than-usual number of patients with heart-related problems. At its peak, the hospital received an average of 30 to 40 patients per day, most of them suffering from a stroke.

Dr. Nguyen Lan Viet, Vice President of the National Heart Association of Vietnam, said cold weather causes sudden brain vasoconstriction, leading to higher blood pressure. Most of the patients entering the hospital are elderly found in a comma brought on by the cold weather.

Many old people in the hospital are suffering from serious after-effects. Some of them even have to live with hemiplegia.

Cerebrovascular accidents can be prevented in 80 percent of the patients. Vulnerable people, especially the elderly and people with high blood pressure and heart diseases, should apply preventive measures.

Doctors recommend the elderly not go out at night and in the early morning during the cold weather and maintain their indoor exercises.

They also advise parents that if their children lose weight, become tired, have a fever or breathing problems, they should be taken to hospital for examination.

According to Dr. Viet, people with a high risk of stroke should have periodic check-ups to receive guidance and advice on preventive measures. They should also maintain a good routine and not drink alcohol or smoke.

In recent days, the northern region of Vietnam has been hit by cold waves with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees Celsius. Particularly, the temperature plunged to 0 degrees Celsius and even minus 1 in some mountainous localities. Heavy snowfall was also seen in Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Ha Giang provinces.-VNA