Summer time is approaching, and it is usually harsh to many of us. With heat increasing to as high as over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be very hard to cope with the entire day without requiring the AC system on and perhaps having the ceiling fan on at maximum velocity. For folks who step out into the sunshine, you will want to take specific precautionary measures.
Heat stroke is a severe condition which could bear upon individuals who brave the high temperatures. In this article, we examine this health issue as well as ways to protect against it.
What exactly is heat stroke?
Heat stroke is a health problem in which the body’s temperature control structure is unable to sustain standard body system temperature in the blistering heat.
This is a severe affliction which requires urgent treatment in a medical center. It typically plagues individuals over the age of 50 yrs . However, there are much younger people struck lately.
What occurs in heat stroke?
The average body temperature is 98 .4 degrees Fahrenheit or around 37 degrees Celsius. This temperature is maintained through a complex system called the thermoregulatory system in the brain.
When exposed to extreme heat, dehydration that accompanies the heat can make this system fail to regulate body temperature. As a consequence, the body overheats to a temperature of over 105 degrees F, leading to the shutting down of brain function and collapse. This is called heat stroke.
What are the symptoms?
The first symptom can be fainting. However, some people experience other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache ( throbbing ), hot skin, dizziness, light headedness and occasionally a fast ( or slow ) heartbeat.
Advanced or complicated cases may present with seizures or coma, and sometimes may demonstrate behavioral changes and confusion.
Who is at risk?
Heat stroke is common in a certain group of individuals. The most susceptible individuals include infants, elderly people ( especially those who have heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease ), individuals who work out in the sun, children left unattended in cars and athletes.
Heat stroke is either exertional ( in those who exercise or work in the heat ), or non-exertional ( seen in infants or those with an underlying medical illness ).
How is a heat stroke victim treated?
Heat stroke is an extremity condition that requires immediate hospitalization and treatment.
The first step in treating a person with heat stroke is to cool them down.
Get the victim to a shady area first. Remove clothing and apply cool water or begin tepid sponging if possible. Fan the victim if possible, and place ice packs under the armpits and in the groin.
Offer the victim a refreshing beverage, ideally water or any juice available immediately. Do not give them drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine. Make certain you observe the temperature of the affected individual using a thermometer and continue cooling till the temperature reduces to around 100-101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Call an ambulance and arrange for the patient to be transferred immediately as a matter of urgency. Preventing heat stroke Avoid dehydration by drinking a good amount of water regularly.
If you have to participate in sports, then make sure you have water or your favorite sports drink at hand at all times.
Replace electrolytes by consuming sports drinks if you sweat excessively in the heat. ORS is a good rehydration solution. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes whenever possible.
Simple measures can prevent this potentially fatal condition