The air quality in the national capital has plunged to ‘severe’ and the risks of various respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, etc.have also started haunting.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has invented an innovative technique for asthma patients struggling to breathe in the killer air.

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Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a procedure which helps in reducing asthma attacks by minimizing the airway smooth muscle. It uses heat energy to reduce swollen airway smooth muscle. Most asthmatic patients have a constricted airway during the exacerbation. This procedure has been successfully tested in the United States of America (USA) and some European countries.

Pollution, air quality, Delhi air pollution Pollution level seen increasing on the roads of national capital. (Photo by Anwesha Ghosh)

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This year, BT has been adopted and tested in a few private hospitals in India but has not proved to be cost-effective for patients.

A 65-year-old woman, who has been suffering from asthma from the past 20 years, was the first one to be treated successfully in AIIMS on Tuesday.

“We are getting many patients with severe asthma these days and the normal medications are not working on them due to an excessive rise in pollution. These people are slowly moving towards a poor lifestyle. The BT technique has been tried in Europe and the United States, where it has shown successful results,” said Dr. Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist and the director of AIIMS.

The air quality on Tuesday reached the severe level with overall air quality index (AQI) reaching 401, recorded as the highest in this season.

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