Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when the body’s core temperature becomes excessively elevated due to prolonged exposure to the sun on a very hot day. Normally, the body regulates its temperature by sweating when the internal temperature becomes high. However, in cases of heat stroke, the body’s temperature regulation system fails to maintain the internal temperature. This can cause the internal body temperature to rise above 104°F, which can disturb the body’s normal functions and potentially cause organ damage if not treated promptly.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
The following may be the signs and symptoms that may indicate heatstroke.
High Body Temperature: A person’s body temperature will reach 104 Fahrenheit or greater.
Loss of Consciousness/Disorientation:
Moreover, in severe cases, a patient will be irritable, confused, and even unconscious
Rapid Pulse/Heart Beat:
However, in case of severe dehydration due to high temperature, your heart will try to pump more rapidly to supply blood to your body which results in a fast heartbeat.
Headache: The patient will feel a headache due to the dilation of blood vessels in the brain due to high temperature.
Due to high temperature patient’s skin will be flushed because of the heavy flow of blood circulation to the body’s surface.
Body aches/Muscles cramps: The patient will feel muscle pain and cramps due to fever and dehydration.
Nausea and Vomiting: The patient may feel nauseated and vomit. This may be due to a person’s body’s reaction to heat stress.
Heat stroke causes severe body aches and a person becomes unable to perform physical activities.
Dizziness or Fainting:
Due to severe dehydration and low blood pressure, the patient may faint. In this case, lie the patient down on a smooth surface and elevate the legs.
Rapid and Shallow Breathing:
The patient’s body will try to lower internal temperature by inhaling more and more air it may also be due to a fast metabolic rate due to very high temperature.
Low Blood Pressure: Patients’ blood pressure will fall to a very low point.
What is the Treatment of heat stroke?
If you suspect heat stroke symptoms call your local emergency medical helpline. Mean while waiting for medical emergency help do the following measures to cool down your body temperature by any source available e.g.
- Move the person or if you are alone immediately move towards a cool place and call someone for help.
- Take cold water showers, or put the person in a tub with cold water. Do not give any medication to lower the temperature.
- Place a wet towel or ice pack on the head in the axilla and in the groin region to cool down your body temperature.
- If the patient is conscious offer a drink containing electrolytes, or you can give an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).
- Avoid caffeinated beverages/drinks.
- If the patient becomes unconscious, pulseless, or not breathing, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and call your emergency local medical helpline.
How you can prevent yourself from Heatstroke?
Heatstroke can be prevented in very hot weather or in a heat wave by following tips.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity in very hot weather.
- If doing exercise or any work is very necessary, then perform that early in the morning from 4 am to 7 Am.
- Keep a water bottle with you all the time. Maintain good hydration all the time
- Keep a towel in your purse or bag. if feel too hot or feel fever wet the towel on your head,
- Children are very sensitive to heatstroke, so keep them in the coolest room in the house, and avoid going outside to play in the streets.
- Take 2 to 3 baths at least in warm weather or a day.
- Always wear loose clothes.
- If you sweat a lot you may be depleted with electrolytes, drink oral rehydration solution(ORS).
How you can keep your home cool in a hot weather?
If your house has direct exposure to the sun or on the top floors of a building do the following measures to keep your house cool.
- Keep doors and windows open in the early morning from 4 A.m. to 7 a.m. for fresh air and good ventilation.
- Always check your room temperature, especially at 10:00 a.m., 1300 hours, and 2200 hours. This is very important if you have infants or children and old age people with health issues.
- Close the window in mid of the day and turn off all artificial lights and electrical appliances if possible.
- Hang a wet towel or a thick cloth piece in your room.
Moreover, heatstroke is a medical emergency, Taking the precautions discussed above can save you and your family. If somebody gets a heat stroke, people around should have that much knowledge that they could handle the person safely. Similarly, local teaching hospitals and community centers should arrange teaching sessions for community people, Before such warm weather teach people home remedies or management and acknowledge them with emergency contact numbers.