When we are excessively exposed to high temperatures, we can put our health at risk, especially if we do not hydrate adequately or do very demanding physical activities during the most significant solar incidence. Faced with this scenario, there is the risk of suffering a heat stroke, which occurs when the body temperature rises above 40 ºC, causing rapid dehydration, shock, and, in more severe cases, death.
Children and the elderly are the most likely to suffer from this condition, and acting quickly will be vital to ensuring the wellbeing and adequate recovery of those who suffer from this condition. That is why at FastlyHealwe explain first aid for heatstroke and the keys to care for those who suffer from it while transferred to a health care center.
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Symptoms of a heat stroke
The average body temperature is around 37 ºC Celsius. To maintain it, our body uses resources such as sweating, which helps us cool down, making us run a lower risk of being hit by high temperatures.
However, when a heat stroke occurs, the body’s mechanisms to regulate temperature stop working, which causes it to rise above 40 ºC, which can seriously endanger our health. Children under six years of age and people over 65 are more likely to suffer from this condition, as well as those who are not used to the heat from living in a colder environment.
Acting quickly is key to avoiding neurological damage and serious complications, but for this, it is essential to know how to recognize the signs of this condition. The symptoms of a heat stroke are:
- Dizziness is accompanied by confusion and disorientation.
- Excessive sweating then stops.
- Redness of the skin, especially on the face.
- Fast heartbeat
- Sudden fever
- Scorching skin.
- Symptoms such as vomiting, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, and seizures indicate that heat stroke is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
How to deal with heatstroke
The first aid for heatstroke should be done immediately to prevent the body temperature from growing and producing a loss of consciousness, seizures, or neurological damage. To care for those who suffer from this condition, we must:
- Moving the person to a relatively cool, shady place will help prevent the temperature from rising further. If there is air conditioning or fans, much better.
- Sit the person down and raise their legs above the heart to promote adequate blood circulation and prevent loss of consciousness. Avoid that many people surrounding it, or this will increase the sensation of heat; the air must circulate towards the affected person.
- It is appropriate to call the emergency number in your country or locality so that a medical team can come urgently to attend to the affected person.
- Meanwhile, if the person has excess clothing, remove it to cool his temperature.
- Soak several clothes in cold water and apply them to areas such as the head, armpits, or forearm to lower their temperature. If you have a shower or water source, wet the person with cold water to accelerate the drop in temperature.
- Give him fresh water to drink in small sips to promote hydration. It is essential not to give too much water, or the person could vomit.
- Body temperature must drop to 38ºC for the person to be safe. If possible, monitor the person’s temperature every 15 minutes while cooling their body until it reaches 38ºC.
A doctor must evaluate the person to determine if the heatstroke may have caused any neurological damage. If the patient loses consciousness, vomits, or convulses, he must be transferred urgently to a hospital.
What you should never do when faced with heat stroke
- Leave the affected person in the sun or a scorching area.
- Immediately transfer him to a hospital without first giving him first aid.
- Force you to drink large amounts of water.
Once someone has suffered a heat stroke, another episode of this type should be prevented as much as possible. However, it is essential to consider some basic recommendations so that anyone, especially children and the elderly, avoids the risks of suffering this condition.
To prevent heatstroke, we recommend:
- Avoid demanding physical activities outdoors in the hottest hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wear caps and hats when doing outdoor activities. The use of an umbrella is recommended on the beach.
- Wear light clothing that encourages sweating during hot months.
- Always stay adequately hydrated. Feeling thirsty is the first sign of dehydration, so avoid it.
- Avoid large, very hot, or fatty foods. This increases your body temperature and can lead to heatstroke.
- Do not drink alcohol when exposed to the sun, as the liquor increases dehydration.
- Children and the elderly should preferably be in a relaxed environment during the hottest hours, avoiding strenuous activities at these times of the day.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.