As the severe heat waves hit most part of the country, it has become a common scenario to witness people cladding scarves or carrying umbrellas to protect themselves. It is indeed vital to keep yourself safe with the soaring temperature, especially because there is increased risk of Heat Stroke.
So, what is the big deal about a Heat Stroke?
This common question instantly pops up in our head as we hear and read every article talking about staying safe in the summer season. Well, let us break the big news to you that a heat stroke is not as regular as it is usually taken. It can actually kill or cause damage by putting a strain on the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys, and can be life-threatening.
Because of this reason, the health experts advise citizens to protect themselves from the heat-related diseases.
But what exactly is a heat stroke?
Heat stroke is an outcome of elongated exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system.
Medically speaking, heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (where average internal body temperature is 98.6F). This rise in body temperature may cause several complications concerning the central nervous system that ensues after exposure to high temperatures. Fainting may be one of the early signs of a heat stroke.
What age group does it affect the most?
Heat stroke mainly affects infants up to 4, and adults over age 65, but it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes.
There are also high chances of affecting the people who are:
– Pregnant or breastfeeding
– Overweight/ Underweight
– Lack social support or homeless
– Work or exercise in hot conditions
– Taking certain medications such as sedatives, diet pills, blood pressure medications, tranquilizers, stimulants etc.
– Drinking less water
– Suffering from conditions that cause fever, such as diabetes, diabetes
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
-Core body temperature getting above 104F
-Rapid heartbeat and fast, shallow breathing
-Problems concentrating or coordinating movements
-Behavioral changes such as aggression, confusion, trouble speaking, slurred speech
-Dizziness, light-headedness, seizures or loss of consciousness
-Hot, dry and possibly red skin
-Lack of sweating despite the heat
-Cramps or muscle weakness
-Dry, swollen tongue
-Nausea or vomiting
What are the First-Aid for Heat Stroke?
If you find any of these symptoms in a person, call 911 or transport the person to the hospital immediately (Any delays could be fatal). Meanwhile, make efforts to bring down his body temperature to at least 101-102 degree Fahrenheit.
In order to help the person’s body cool down, you can take the following steps:
– Take the person to an air-conditioned room or at least a shady area
– Fan air over the affected person while wetting his skin with a sponge
– Apply ice to areas rich with blood vessels such as armpits, groin, neck and back.
– Immerse the patient in cold shower or bathtub
Warning: Do not use ice for older patients, young children, patients with chronic illness, or anyone whose heat stroke occurred without vigorous exercise.
How can you prevent heat stroke?
When the heat index is high, it’s best to avoid going outdoors, but if you must, then take these preventive measures to secure yourself from heat stroke:
– Drink plenty of water (recommended is 8 glasses to the least) even if you aren’t thirsty
– Avoid hot or sugary drinks
– Try to avoid direct sun
– Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothes, wear a hat
– Do not leave children as well as pets alone in the car
– Use a sunscreen preferably of SPF 30 or more
– When exercising, drink at least 24 ounces of water two hours before of exercising
– Keep monitoring your urine color. Dark urine reflects dehydration
– Avoid salt tablets unless your doctor has asked you so
– Avoid fluids containing caffeine or alcohol because the intake of these products may make you lose more fluid from the body, eventually worsening heat-related illness (Consult your doctor on the same if in case you have any fluid retention illness)
– Stay in an air-conditioned or a cross-ventilated room
Doctors say that unlike heat exhaustion and heat cramps, two less severe forms of elevated body temperature, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal. Therefore, it is best to stay updated in order to keep yourself safe as well as those around you from the fatal illness such as heat stroke during summers.