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Beat the Heat!!!

Friday, 20 March 2015
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2012, recorded the hottest summer in Dubai in the last ten years. Government of Bali has cautioned its people to be prepared for the heat waves that are to come. Global warming is catching up and apart from “going green”, we urge you to pay attention to the potential effects it may have on your health. While companies are coming up with programmes to help its employees combat the heat, we thought we will give you a heads up on the causes, symptoms of this heat stroke a.k.a hyperthermia and how to prevent it. 

“26-year-old son Neil Saigal passed away a month after he suffered from heat stroke, kidney and liver damage and rhabdomyolysis, after participating in a marathon in Gurgaon, India  in August 2011.” – August, 2011, Gurgaon, India.

Hyperthermia, sun stroke, heat stroke are conditions where the body temperature is elevated due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body absorbs or produces more heat than it dissipates and requires immediate treatment to prevent disability or even death. Heat stroke can attack anyone regardless of age and size, but mostly kids below the age of 4, adults above 50 years of age and sports professionals are more prone to this condition. 

“Mauritz 'Mo' Pieterse dies of thirst and heat exhaustion on 10km walk after car bogged in extreme temperatures” – November, 2012 in Queensland, Australia

Who can be attacked by this condition?

  1. Infants
  2. Elderly who are associated with heart, lungs or kidney diseases or those who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to dehydration.
  3. Athletes and sports professionals
  4. Individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun.
  5. People living in unbearably hot living conditions.
  6. People not dressed appropriately for the weather and going to extremely crowded places which hamper free air circulation.

“River Bates, 3, and his brother Leland, 5, died as the result of elevated body core temperatures as a result of being inside a vehicle in the extreme heat.” – October, 2012 in Ohio, USA.

Symptoms

You are likely to be attacked by a heat stroke if you, 

  1. Have a throbbing headache
  2. Feel dizzy
  3. Don’t sweat despite the hot weather
  4. Have muscle weakness or cramps
  5. Feel nauseous
  6. Are experiencing rapid heartbeat
  7. Are having seizures or disorientation

First Aid

In most cases the body temperature of the victim would be higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit and hence the first and foremost thing is to try and bring down the temperature.

  1. Call the emergency helpline immediately, any delay in seeking medical help can be fatal.
  2. Get the victim to a shady area, remove their clothing and fan the victim to promote sweating.
  3. Place ice packs under armpits, groin, neck and back. These are the areas that have most blood vessels close to the skin and cooling them may reduce the body temperature.
  4. If possible, run the victim an ice bath.

Preventing Heat Stroke

  1. Keeping yourself well hydrated is the best way to prevent the body from getting heated up.  Heat related illness can result in salt depletion. Hence it is advisable to drink electrolyte rich sports drink instead of water during extreme humidity and heat.
  2. Take precautions while exercising or working outdoors. Make sure you drink enough water before, during and after your workout.
  3. Wear lightweight, light coloured and loose fitting clothes.
  4. As much as possible, stay indoors during the time there’s maximum heat. Plan your day and activities according to the climate.
  5. Avoid drinks that contain high amount of caffeine or alcohol, because both substances can make you lose more fluids and worsen dehydration.
  6. When you are indoors, in the absence of an air conditioner, ensure there is proper ventilation and airy.

So next time you decide to step out and soak up in the sun, make sure you are well equipped and ready to beat the heat and not otherwise!

 

       

Last modified on Friday, 20 March 2015 11:33

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