Summer season is at its high peak, and people around the world are dealing with heatstroke. In extreme temperatures, it is simple to get dehydrated or overheat. If this occurs, you might experience heat cramps, fatigue, heatstroke, or even other symptoms. Heatstroke is an acute medical condition that, if not treated right away, may trigger lasting damage to essential organs or even death. Heatwaves might potentially aggravate pre-existing medical issues. Heat stroke is the most severe type of heat injury and is addressed as an acute medical condition. It can, however, occur even though you have no history of heat injury. In this blog, we will get to understand the reasons for heatstroke and would also know about how to deal with it.

Causes of Heatstroke & Who Can Be Affected?

Heat stroke is caused by extended exposure to extremely high temperatures, frequently in conjunction with dehydration, which affects the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature. A core body temperature of more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, along with difficulties with the central nervous system, is the medical definition of a heat stroke. Seizures, confusion, nausea, and possible loss of consciousness or coma are other frequent symptoms. Anyone can suffer from heatstroke. However, children and older people are especially vulnerable as their bodies may be unable to manage their body temperature adequately. Heatstroke is also a risk for athletes, soldiers, and others with jobs that involve physical labor in heated surroundings.


Types of Heatstroke

There are mainly two types of heatstroke-

Exertional heatstroke- This kind of heatstroke is typically caused by intense physical activity in humid, hot environments. It can be developed in a matter of hours.

Non-exertional heatstroke- It is also known as conventional heatstroke, and may develop as a result of aging or underlying medical problems. It usually takes some days to occur.

Signs And Symptoms of Heatstroke

There are some signs and symptoms associated with heatstroke through which you can define and take the necessary steps to treat it.

  • Non-sweating skin, which is more likely in non-exertional heatstroke
  • Difficulties with coordination and movement
  • Disorientation
  • Bubbling or gushing sound in lungs
  • Excessive sweating
  • Flushed or very pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Low output of urine
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Factors that Cause Heatstroke

The following factors are associated to increase the chance of heatstroke-

  • Having disorders that impair sweating abilities, such as cystic fibrosis
  • Alcohol intake
  • Dehydration
  • Obesity issue
  • Drugs such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, or blood pressure and heart medications that affect the ability of your body to regulate temperature.
  • wearing weighty or tight clothes
  • High fever

Early Diagnosis of Heatstroke

A doctor will evaluate the patient and perform diagnostics to figure out any other potential reasons for the raised temperature. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the head, blood tests, and a lumbar puncture can be performed. The doctor will also perform urine and blood tests to assess how well the kidneys are working. Dehydration and heat stroke can be extremely difficult on the kidneys.


First Aid to Deal with the Condition

First aid can be initiated while waiting for medical help. Such first aid help can be lifesaving and help the condition to be in control. When you wait for a paramedic, try to keep the victim as cool as you can by-

  • Remove any extra garments and take the person to an air-conditioned facility, or at the very least a cool, shady spot.
  • Use a sponge or yard hose, and blow air over them while applying water to the patient’s skin
  • Apply ice packs to the patient’s neck, back, armpits, and groin. Cooling these areas may reduce body temperature since they are densely packed with blood vessels next to the skin.
  • Immerse the patient in a cold shower or bathtub.
  • An ice bath can be used to assist cool the body down if the person is young and healthy and has experienced exertional heat stroke while engaging in strenuous exercise.
  • Encourage them to consume slightly salted liquids, such as sports drinks or salted water.
  • Observing their breathing and removing any airway obstructions.

The patient with heatstroke may get some of the following in the hospital:

  • Ice bath
  • Chilled blanket
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Cooled intravenous fluids
  • Preventive medication for seizures

How Can a Person Prevent Such a Condition?

A person can prevent heatstroke by taking a few steps that are-

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting garments
  • Always use sunscreen whenever you are stepping out of home
  • Avoiding intense physical activity in hot, humid weather
  • Drink ample amounts of fluids such as sports drinks, lightly salted water, or fruit juice
  • Never leave children (or pets) in enclosed, heated environments such as cars
  • Stay in air-conditioned or well-ventilated areas
  • Outdoor activities should be rescheduled or canceled. If feasible, devote your time outside during the coolest parts of the day, such as the early morning or after sunset
  • Avoid the intake of fluids containing alcohol or caffeine
  • Include coconut water in your diet to harness the overall benefits of tender coconut water

Bottom Line

Heatstroke is a potentially fatal illness that develops when a person’s temperature rises excessively fast. Overexertion in hot, humid weather is frequently the reason for this. Confusion, seizure disorder, or loss of consciousness are some of the symptoms. Seek emergency medical attention if you or someone you know develops heatstroke, and try to lower the person’s body temperature as rapidly as possible. After recovering from heat stroke, you will most likely be more vulnerable to elevated temperatures for the next week. So, unless your doctor recommends you, avoid hot weather and strenuous exercise.

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