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Australia, Qatar & Egypt

24/7

8000177 +201210937777

Australia, Qatar & Egypt

Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke

Definition:

Heat Stroke, also known as Sunstroke, is a type of severe heat illness that results in a body temperature greater than 40.0 °C (104.0 °F).     

Symptoms:

1. Throbbing headache

2. Dizziness and light-headedness

3. Inability to sweat despite the heat

4Red, hot, and dry skin

5Muscle weakness or cramps

6. Nausea and vomiting

7. Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak

 Rapid, shallow breathing

9· Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering

10· Seizures

11· Unconsciousness

Causes:

Heat stroke can occur as a result of:

1· Exposure to a Hot Environment

It’s called Non-Exertional (classic) Heat Stroke, being in hot surroundings leads to a rise in Core Body Temperature. It occurs most often in older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and children.

2· Strenuous activity

As Exertional Heat Stroke is caused by an increase in Core Body Temperature brought on by intense physical activity in hot weather, anyone exercising or working in hot weather can get Exertional Heat Stroke.

In both types of Heat Stroke, your condition can occur due to: 

a) Wearing excess clothing

·    That prevents sweat from evaporating easily for cooling your body.

b) Drinking alcohol

·    which can affect your body's ability to regulate your temperature.

c) Becoming dehydrated

·    By not drinking enough water to replenish fluids lost through sweating.

Risk Factors:

Anyone can develop heatstroke, but several factors increase your risk:

1. Age:

Your ability to cope with extreme heat depends on the strength of your central nervous system. at the very young age, the central nervous system is not fully developed, and in adults over 65, the central nervous system begins to deteriorate, which makes your body less able to cope with changes in body temperature. Both age groups usually have difficulty remaining hydrated, which also increases risk.

2. Exertion in hot weather:

 Military training and participating in sports, such as football or long-distance running events, and workers that working in hot weather are among the situations that can lead to heatstroke.

3. Sudden exposure to hot weather: 

You may be more susceptible to heat-related illness if you're exposed to a sudden increase in temperature, like an early-summer heat wave or travelling to a hotter climate, in such cases we advise you to limit activity for at least several days to allow yourself to acclimate to the change. However, you may still have an increased risk of Heat Stroke until you've experienced several weeks of higher temperatures.

4. A lack of air conditioning:

Fans may make you feel better, but during sustained hot weather, air conditioning is the most effective way to cool down and lower humidity.

5. Certain medications:

Some medications affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and respond to heat, beware especially in hot weather if you are on medications that narrow your blood vessels (Vasoconstrictors), regulate your blood pressure by blocking Adrenaline (Beta-Blockers), rid your body of Sodium and Water (Diuretics), or reduce Psychiatric symptoms (Antidepressants or Antipsychotics).

Stimulants for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and illegal stimulants such as Amphetamines and Cocaine also make you more vulnerable to Heat Stroke.       

6) Certain health conditions.

Certain chronic illnesses, such as heart or lung disease, might increase your risk of Heat Stroke. So does being obese, being sedentary, or having a history of previous Heat Stroke.

7) Complications:

Heatstroke can result in several complications, depending on how long the body temperature is high. Severe complications include:

·         Vital organ damage

Without a quick response to lower the body temperature, heatstroke can cause your brain or other vital organs to swell, possibly resulting in permanent damage.

·         Death

Without prompt and adequate treatment, heatstroke can be fatal.

Prevention:

Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:

·         Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.

·         Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a min. SPF 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours.

·         Drink plenty of fluids.

·         Take extra precautions with certain medications. 

·         Never leave anyone in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.

·         Recline during the hottest parts of the day. If you can't avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids, and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor at cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening.

·         Be cautious if you're at increased risk.

Diagnosis:

It's usually apparent to doctors if you have heatstroke, but laboratory tests can confirm the diagnosis, rule out other causes for your symptoms and assess organ damage.

Treatment:

Heat Stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and it is considered a medical emergency, please call 999 or ask help from your doctor.

Author: Dr. Asmaa Satti

Author: Dr. Asmaa Satti