Heat stroke

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a condition in which the body overheats in a relatively short period of time as a result of excessive exposure to heat and the brain’s inability to regulate body temperature temperature.

The body temperature may rise abnormally in various circumstances for example:

  • Classic heat stroke – caused by exposing the body to very high temperatures.
  • Stress induced heat stroke – usually occurs during heavy physical exertion at high ambient temperatures.
  • Severe burns, including sunburns, which have covered a large part of the skin and sweat glands are damaged.
  • In rare cases in certain clinical conditions, more often in thyroid problems.

What are the symptoms of heatstroke?

The most characteristic symptom of heatstroke is an increase in body temperature above 40 degrees. But loss of consciousness or fainting can be the first sign.

Other characteristic symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • Throbbing headache;
  • Dizziness and dizziness;
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat;
  • Red, warm and dry skin;
  • Muscle weakness or cramps;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be strong or weak;
  • Rapid shallow breathing;
  • Behavioral changes – confusion, disorientation or anxiety.

First aid for heatstroke

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 or take the person to the nearest emergency medical center immediately. Any delay in emergency medical care can be fatal.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, begin first aid. Move the person to an air-conditioned room or at least a cooler and shady place and remove unnecessary clothing from him.

If possible take the person’s body temperature and try to cool them down by lowering their body temperature to around 38 degrees.

You can try the following cooling methods:

  • Move the air over the person with a heat stroke or wet their skin by spraying them with water.
  • Put ice under their arms, groin, neck and the back. These areas are well supplied with blood, and cooling them will lower the body temperature.
  • Immerse the heatstroke victim in a cold or ice bath or bathe him in cold water.
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  • If emergency help is delayed call the emergency medical center again for further instructions.
  • Another option is to wrap the person’s body with wet sheets or towels and leave it in a room with a fan to move the air over it.

After recovering from heatstroke, you will likely be sensitive to high temperatures for about a week. So it’s best to avoid exposure to high temperatures and heavy physical exertion until your doctor tells you when it’s best to resume your normal activities.

How to protect yourself from heat stroke?

Avoid the hottest hours of the day

If possible, avoid exposure to the sun between 10:00 and 16:00 when temperatures are highest. If you must go out during this period, seek shade or wear a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Use sunscreen

Don’t forget to apply a high SPF sunscreen to your skin before going out in the sun. This will help protect you from sunburn and injury.

Application of cool compresses

If you are exposed to heat and feel you are overheating, apply a cool compress to your forehead, neck or wrists to help cool your body.

Avoid alcohol and coffee

Alcohol and coffee can contribute to dehydration, so it is advisable to avoid consuming them during hot conditions. Instead, prefer to drink more water and other non-alcoholic liquids.

Be careful with sports activities

If you are a fan of physical exercise, especially on hot days, be very careful. Try to exercise in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.

If you must exercise during the day, avoid intense exercise and do it in a cooler place. Remember to drink plenty of fluids during physical activity.

The importance of hydration

We cannot stress enough how important it is to drink plenty of fluids on hot days.

Water is the best choice, but you can also drink other fluids, such as herbal teas or sports drinks with electrolytes, to keep your hydration at an optimal level.

Cool your home

If you are at home, make sure the rooms are well ventilated and use air conditioners or fans to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If you don’t have air conditioning, try visiting public places that have air conditioning, such as malls, libraries, or other public buildings.

Be careful with the power supply

When it’s hot, your appetite may be lower, but it’s still important to eat enough food. Try to eat light and nutritious meals, such as fruits, vegetables, salads and nuts.

Remember that heat stroke can be dangerous and can affect anyone, especially children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.

If you experience symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue or suspected heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately.

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