Due to hot days and the closure of the airways, heat waves are being experienced in several areas, increasing the chances of people getting heatstroke.
What is “heatstroke”?
Heatstroke typically occurs in humans during extremely hot weather conditions and exposure to hot winds and the sun’s heat.
Heatstroke actually happens when a person’s body becomes excessively hot and sweating mechanisms fail.
Generally, the body temperature of an individual increases when working or moving around in continuous sun exposure during the summer season, which raises the risk of heatstroke.
While the possibility of heatstroke is higher during hot days, individuals who have high blood pressure (with a consistent blood pressure of 100/140) or are already suffering from other conditions such as heart, brain, kidney, and stomach diseases, are more susceptible to heatstroke.
Heatstroke is an acute physical condition that requires immediate medical attention, and therefore, taking the affected person to the hospital is of utmost importance.
Initial signs of heatstroke
There can be multiple initial signs, but commonly, the first noticeable symptoms are severe headache, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
Additional symptoms may include:
- Hot and dry weather
- Severe headache, dizziness, and loss of consciousness
- Strenuous activity or exercise in hot weather
- Excessive exposure to direct sunlight
- Working or doing outdoor activities in hot weather
What to do when someone is affected by heatstroke?
First and foremost, call an ambulance or take the affected person to the hospital immediately (delay in medical assistance can be life-threatening). Transfer the patient to a shaded area while waiting for the ambulance.
Make the patient lie down on a mat and elevate their feet on something high (to increase blood flow towards the heart and aid in controlling shock).
Loosen the patient’s clothing if they are tight.
Place cool towels on the patient’s body or spray them with cold water.
Direct the pedestal fan towards the patient, but if there is no electricity, use a newspaper or hand fan to provide them with air.
Precautionary measures to avoid heatstroke
Keep a water bottle with you when going out and use water immediately in case of any discomfort; in any case, staying hydrated is beneficial. It is better to wear a light, cool fabric on the head or while traveling.
Avoid extremely hot weather and strenuous activities for an extended period. Minimize unnecessary outdoor exposure.
Ensure the house is well-ventilated and cool, avoiding excessive heat.
Consume ample water and light, easily digestible meals that help maintain the body’s salt balance and aid in digestion.
This article provides general and basic information and should not be considered medical advice. The causes and symptoms of heatstroke can vary, and preventive measures can differ as well. In case of any emergency situation, consult a hospital or a doctor.