The Basics of Avoiding Heatstroke

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The Basics of Avoiding Heatstroke

When the human body is exposed to excessive heat and the temperature higher than it can bear, it results in a condition called heat stroke. Heat strokes are the most intense form of injury caused by heat. It normally occurs when the body temperature goes up to 40 degrees C. Our bodies are more prone to getting heat stroke in summer especially in the areas that meet extreme temperatures. We can use an umbrella while walking in the sun and drink sufficient water to avoid heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat stroke

Some of the most common symptoms of heatstroke are the following:

  1. Increased body temperature
  2. Aggression, slurred speech, seizure and coma.
  3. Despite intense heat, the body might fail to produce sweat.
  4. Feeling of nausea and pain in stomach.
  5. Redness of skin
  6. Tachypnea or breathing heavily
  7. Increased pulse rate and heartbeat
  8. Headache

Emergency Treatment

Heatstroke is a condition which requires immediate action otherwise the person affected by it might get in an aggravated situation. Untreated heatstroke may lead to brain damage and severe problems in kidneys, muscles and even heart. It can even cause death in its worst form.

Hence, the following steps should be taken to treat the person if the aforementioned symptoms are seen:

The prior thing is to bring down the body temperature which can be done in the following ways:

  • Bringing the person in cooler temperature, if they are outside in scorching heat of the sun then they must be immediately brought indoors.
  • If there is extra clothing or there are any warm clothes on, they should be taken off at once.
  • Cooling the body with all the available means for example immersing the body in a tub of cool water or getting them a cool shower, icing their body, turning on the fan, bringing them in an air-conditioned room etc. 

Things that tend to increase the likelihood of heatstroke: 

  1. The classic heatstroke is caused by body exposure to hot temperature for long periods of time. It affects mostly the people in older age groups or those who are already sick.
  2. If the body in engaged in doing strenuous work in hot weather, it is more likely to be caught by heatstroke.
  3. We must try to avoid wearing warm and extra clothes in hot weather as they tend to increase the body temperature.
  4. Another thing which leads us to heatstroke is alcohol consumption. It disturbs our body’s ability to regulate its temperature.
  5. Failure to drinking sufficient water causes loss of fluids from our body due to which sweat isn’t formed and a person might end up in heatstroke.
  6. We should use protection against the sunburns. Sunburns disable the ability of our body to cool itself. Hence, we must use sun blocks not lower than SPF 15.

Drinking plenty of water is immensely important. We must drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day.

Complications

  • Heatstroke can result in severe complications like vital organ damage which involves swelling of organs causing their permanent damage.
  • It can even cause death as mentioned earlier.

Key Facts and Statistics:

  • Heat stroke is one of the top reasons of death in teens and young adults because heat strokes generally occur during sporting and practicing outdoor.
  • The rate of death due to heat stroke has increased since 2000.
  • More than 9000 documented deaths due to heat stroke took place between the year 1979 and the year 2013.
  • There has been an average death rate of 1 death due to heat stroke per 2 million U.S. people in the previous 30 years.
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