Heatstroke : The worst kind of heatstroke
Causes and symptoms of heatstroke and ways to diagnose and treat it
Heat exhaustion is a condition in which a person has symptoms such as heavy sweating, rapid pulse and excessive body temperature.
This is one of the three heat-related syndromes, the mildest of which is mild and the most severe.
Causes of heatstroke include exposure to high temperatures, especially when high humidity and intense activity.
Lack of prompt treatment can lead to heatstroke which is a threatening condition but fortunately heat exhaustion can be prevented.
Symptoms of heatstroke:
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may occur suddenly or over time.
These signs and symptoms are:
Cool and moist skin with tingling (hair on the body) when hot
Weak and fast pulse
Low blood pressure when standing
When should I see a doctor?
If you think you have heat exhaustion:
Stop all your activities and rest
Go to a cool place
Drink cold water
See your doctor if your symptoms worsen or do not improve within an hour.
A person with symptoms of heat exhaustion usually becomes confused, loses consciousness, and is unable to drink fluids.
If the central body temperature (measured by a rectal thermometer) reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius or higher.
Causes of heatstroke:
Body heat, along with ambient heat, is called core temperature.
To maintain its normal temperature (approximately 37 degrees Celsius), the body needs to maintain heat at a cold temperature that regulates it with the environment.
When the ambient temperature rises above body temperature, it can not dissipate its internal heat, this is when heat exhaustion occurs.
Lack of cooling of the body spontaneously:
The body cools mainly through sweating.
Evaporation of sweat regulates body temperature.
However, when the temperature rises more in hot and humid weather or you exercise too much, the body will not be able to cool itself and as a result it may suffer from heatstroke.
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke usually include excessive sweating, fatigue, thirst, and muscle cramps.
Prompt treatment usually prevents the progression of heatstroke to heat exhaustion.
You can usually cool your body temperature or go to a cool place and relax by drinking fluids or sports drinks containing electrolytes.
In addition to hot weather and strenuous activity, other symptoms of heatstroke include:
Dehydration that reduces the body’s ability to sweat and maintain a normal temperature
Excessive coverage, especially clothing that does not allow sweat to evaporate.
Factors that increase the risk of infection include:
Anyone may experience heat exhaustion, but some factors can increase a person’s sensitivity to heat.
Aging or youth:
Infants and children under 4 years and adults 65 and older are at greater risk for heat exhaustion.
The body’s ability to regulate its temperature is not fully developed at a young age and may be reduced in adulthood by disease, medication, or other factors.
These are medications that interfere with the body’s ability to hydrate, such as medications to treat high blood pressure and heart problems (beta-blockers, diuretics), allergy-reducing medications such as antihistamines, sedatives, and antipsychotics.
In addition, some illicit drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can cause fever.
Excessive weight bearing may affect the regulation of body temperature and cause the body to retain more heat.
Sudden temperature changes:
Traveling to cities with hot climates or living in humid areas can expose a person to the disease because the body has not had the opportunity to get used to the high temperatures.
- High heat index:
Heat index is a unit of temperature that takes into account the heat and humidity of the open space.
When the humidity is high, sweat does not evaporate easily and the body has difficulty cooling and makes the person prone to heatstroke.
Caution should be exercised when cooling to 33 ° C or higher.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius or higher.
Heatstroke requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs that can lead to death.
Diagnosis of heat fatigue:
If you see a doctor because of heat exhaustion, medical staff will first check your body temperature with a rectal thermometer, and if they suspect the disease, they may prescribe tests that include:
Blood tests to check for low sodium and potassium levels in the blood and gas content in the blood
Urine test to check concentration, urine composition and kidney function
Muscle function test to check for rabomolysis (serious damage to muscle tissue)
X-ray and other imaging to check for damage to internal organs
Prevention and treatment of heatstroke
Wear light and loose clothing because tight-fitting clothing does not allow the body to cool down.
Sun protection because it affects the body’s ability to cool down, so in the open air and sunlight, use a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
Drink plenty of fluids to help you sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
Use certain medications with caution.
Never keep a person in a parked car in hot weather as this is one of the leading causes of heatstroke death in children.
When parking the car, the air temperature in the car rises above 20 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 6.7 degrees Celsius) within 10 minutes.
Do not be strict in the hottest hours of the day:
If you can not avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink plenty of fluids and rest regularly in a cool place.
Try to plan for cool hours of the day, such as early morning and evening.
Limit the duration of activity in hot weather until you get used to this condition.
People who are not accustomed to hot weather are prone to heatstroke.
It may take a few weeks for the body to get used to the hot weather.
Be careful if you are taking certain medications or have a condition that increases the risk of heat problems.
If you do not feel better within an hour of using these measures, seek medical care in their condition:
Immerse yourself in cold water, it has been proven that cold water bath can be the most effective way to reduce the main body temperature.
Evaporation cooling techniques are used:
If immersion in water is not available, the doctor will try to lower the body temperature by pouring cold water over the hot body.
Under these conditions, water will evaporate on the body and cool down.
They may wrap the person in a blanket or apply an ice pack to the groin, neck, back and armpits to lower the body temperature.
Your doctor may recommend benzodiazepines or muscle relaxants to reduce chills.