Health

HEAT STROKE: WHY IT APPEARS, HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND HOW TO REACT WHEN SOMEONE IS HURT?

Every summer millions of people are exposed to extremely high temperatures and that can lead to overheating the body. Overheat can manifest as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The warmth exhaustion happens frequently. The body temperature is between 37-40⁰C, and the symptoms include deep involvement of the central nervous system. If warmth exhaustion is not treated, the condition worsens and there is heat stroke.

During heat stroke the body temperature is above 40⁰C among other symptoms and signs, and severe involvement of the central nervous system, including delirium, convulsions and coma.

WHAT IS A HEAT STROKE AND WHY UT OCCURS?

The human body normally has the ability to maintain a constant temperature inside the body (the central part). For maintaining a constant temperature in charge are a special type of cells in the hypothalamus, which build the thermoregulatory center. The thermoregulatory center functions as a kind of biological thermostat and register a change of temperature inside.

If the capacity for maintaining the normal temperature is exceeded, the thermal load occurs, the extreme cold – cooling (hypothermia) and overheating at high temperatures (hyperthermia) of the body. Final degree of overheating the body is the heat stroke.

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?

When exposed to high temperature, each person can develop heat stroke. Higher risks have:

  • Infants and children up to 4 years;
  • Persons over 65 years;
  • People with chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, metabolic syndrome);
  • Individuals who consume certain drugs (calcium blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, laxatives, etc..).

Additional risk factors that promote heat stroke are:

  • Fever;
  • Eating disorders;
  • Severe skin damage;
  • Increased physical activity at extremely high temperatures;
  • Living in urban environments

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS DURING HEAT STROKE

  • Fever over 40⁰C;
  • Hot and dry skin;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle cramps;
  • Dizziness;
  • Breathlessness;
  • Chest tightness;
  • Rapid pulse;
  • Confusion and disorientation;
  • Delirium;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Coma

Attention! Heat stroke is a serious medical condition and if it’s not treated immediately can be fatal.

HOW TO HELP A PERSON SUFFERING FROM HEAT STROKE?

In order to prevent permanent damage to some organs, especially the central nervous system, it is necessary to act immediately and to provide appropriate assistance. Take the following steps to help a person suffering from heat stroke:

Move the person to a lower room temperature. If you are outdoors under the sun and it is not possible, find a place where the person’s face won’t be exposed to sunlight.

 Remove clothing.

Cool the body with cold water. The main purpose is to enable cooling the body or lowering body temperature. For this purpose, you can use everything that you have on hand: cold water, packets of ice towels soaked in cold water, garden hose with cold water and more.

Call an ambulance. After you do the above steps, immediately call an ambulance in order to get the proper person further medical treatment.

If you notice that the person doesn’t show signs of life (no breathing, pulse is intangible), then begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

HOW TO PREVENT HEAT STROKE?

  • Consume sufficient quantity of water at least 2 liters per day.
  • Avoid exposure to sun from 11 to 16 pm in the summer period.
  • Wear hats and light clothing.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine.
  • If you have to perform physical activity at high temperature, first let the organism to adapt to the environment.
  • Do not leave a person (especially a child) in a closed car parked in the sun.

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