Times have changed and weather conditions have been constantly fluctuating due to climate change. As a result, warmer temperatures sometimes cause heatstroke.
Heatstroke happens when the body is unable to regulate its own temperature and body temperature due to various reasons internal or external reasons. It may be caused by exposure to a hot and humid environment for prolonged periods, strenuous activity, wearing excess clothing that fuels body heat and prevents sweat from cooling the body, drinking alcohol, and simply by not drinking enough water.
Signs of Heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke may include fast heart rate, vomiting, sweating, and unconsciousness for more than a few seconds, anxiety, severe vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizure. Heatstroke is considered a serious medical emergency as it can be life-threatening and might result in a severe long-term complication. Calling 911 is the first step to ensuring safety.
First Aid Remedy
After calling any medical emergency service, it is important to remember these steps to ensure the safety of the person suffering heatstroke:
- Ventilate the person and move the person out of the heat or hot weather
- Fan the person while spraying cool water
- Cover with a cool towel
- Place ice packs on the neck, groin, and armpits
- Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower
- Spray water using garden hose
- Sponge with cool water
- Fan while misting with cool water
- Remove the person’s unnecessary clothing that may add heat and obstruct circulation
- Move the person out of direct sunlight and into a cooler place
- If a child has stopped breathing, immediately begin rescue breathing
- Avoid giving aspirin to reduce high temperature that might occur with heatstroke as it may cause problem because of the body’s response to heatstroke
- Assess the person’s rectal temperature and make sure you reduce it to at least 102°F (39°C) as soon as possible. Temperatures taken by ear or mouth are not completely accurate in a heatstroke emergency
- If the person is conscious and able to swallow, give the person 1 to 2 liters of water or hydrating fluids within the first two hours to ensure hydration. Make sure the person sits up properly to avoid choking.
- Perform CPR if you notice that the person loses consciousness or gives no signs of breathing, movement, and circulation.
Heatstroke is a serious emergency. Knowing the first aid remedy to ensure safety is vital in safeguarding the life of any individual. As mentioned, times have changed and the unpredictable weather conditions contribute to the likelihood of heatstroke. However, in most situations it is always wise to avoid the situation before it happens. Staying hydrated and avoiding too much heat may be simple ways to avoid the probability of suffering heatstroke. But if unfortunately it occurs to somebody you know, make sure you know all the first aid emergency procedure after you call 911.∎
Mayoclinic.org. (2016). Heatstroke: First aid - Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-heatstroke/basics/art-20056655 [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].
WebMD. (2016). Emergency First Aid for Heatstroke-Topic Overview. [online] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/emergency-first-aid-for-heatstroke-topic-overview [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].
Mayoclinic.org. (2016). Heatstroke Causes - Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/basics/causes/con-20032814 [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].
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