What is Heat Stroke and How to prevent it?

Most severe form of heat illness when the body overheats and can’t cool down. The body cannot take off the excessive heat from the body by sweating because of dehydration and/or humid environment.

Causes

  • the risk of heat stroke goes way up in hot and humid weather
  • vigorous exercise in hot weather
  • if you’re dehydrated
  • if you’ve had too much direct exposure to the sun

Signs

May start with the following signs of heat exhaustion:

  • warm, flushed skin
  • faintness
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • headache

May progress to an emergency condition of heat stroke:

  • very high fever of 41 C
  • rapid heartbeat
  • convulsion
  • delirium
  • unconscious Prevention
  • Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid tea, coffee, soda and alcohol.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
  • Schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day, when it’s cooler.

Treatment

Emergency measures:

  • Move the person to a shady spot or indoors and have them lie down with their legs elevated. If they’re conscious, have them sip cool water.
  • Remove clothing, apply cool water to the skin and fan them.
  • Apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles and groin.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency!

Bring the patient immediately to the hospital after instituting emergency measures.

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Source: Department of Health

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