Heat wave alert: Be on the lookout for these heat stroke warning signs that could put you in the hospital | Health

The scorching heat of summer is not only uncomfortable, but can also be life-threatening in certain situations. When mercury rises to dangerous levels and threatens to disrupt the body’s natural temperature regulation system, it is important to take appropriate steps to keep the body cool. Heat stroke is one of those medical emergencies where, due to intense heat, the body loses its ability to cool itself naturally and becomes heated to dangerous levels. If the body’s “internal thermostat” goes out of control, it can pose a serious threat to vital organs, whether the kidneys, heart or brain. (Also read: 5 delicious salads to add to your diet to combat the heat wave and prevent dehydration)

Heat stroke is one of those medical emergencies where, due to intense heat, the body loses its ability to cool itself naturally and becomes heated to dangerous levels. (Freepik)

How do you know that your body is in danger from heat stroke? You have to pay close attention to the warning signs. Hot and dry skin, confusion, tachycardia, dizziness and nausea are some of the symptoms that warn that your body’s internal temperature regulation system is overwhelmed by heat. Constantly hydrate yourself, wear light clothing and use sunscreen to avoid suffering from heat stroke. You should avoid peak sun hours, from 10 am to 4 pm, and try to go outdoors early in the morning or at dusk.

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“Heat stroke is a severe form of hyperthermia, an abnormally high body temperature, often accompanied by physical and neurological symptoms. It is a medical emergency that can be life-threatening without timely treatment,” says Dr. Tushar Tayal , internal medicine consultant. CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram.

Types of heat stroke

Heat stroke can be classified into two main types, according to Dr. Tayal:

1. Exertional heat stroke (EHS): It usually affects young, healthy people during strenuous physical activity in hot environments.

2. Effortless Heat Stroke (Classic): This usually affects older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and young children. It occurs due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate hydration, often during heat waves.

When to hospitalize a patient with heat stroke?

“Heat stroke can occur as a result of prolonged exposure to a hot environment or strenuous physical activity in a hot environment. Heat stroke, if not treated in time, can cause a life-threatening emergency and can even be fatal. Heat stroke can occur cause severe dehydration and brain dysfunction, which can lead to delirium, seizures or coma. It causes liver and kidney damage and can progress to multiple organ failure due to low blood pressure due to severe dehydration and. a heat stroke The patient who suffers from heat stroke, who has high body temperature, severe weakness, muscle cramps, severe headache or progressive depression in consciousness should be immediately taken to the hospital emergency department if a patient loses consciousness. consciousness and breathing quickly or cannot walk or stand, time should not be wasted trying home remedies and admitting the patient to the hospital for further treatment. Delay in treatment can have serious consequences and sometimes can be fatal even after treatment,” says Dr Anand Bhabhor, Additional Director, Critical Care Medicine, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai.

Symptoms of heat stroke

High body temperature: Core temperature increases to 104°F or higher.

Headache: Severe, throbbing headache is a telltale sign of heat stroke and needs immediate attention.

Muscle cramps and weakness: Severe muscle pain, weakness, body aches, and the inability to stand and walk indicate severe dehydration.

increase of the respiratory frequence: Rapid, shallow breathing and a feeling of shortness of breath show that your body cannot cool down

Heart rate: An increase in heart rate and heart rate awareness shows that your body is under severe heat stress.

Nausea vomiting: Upset stomach, pain, and nausea are signs of heat stroke.

skin temperature: Hot, red skin and lack of sweating could indicate that the body’s internal heat regulation system is not working properly.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. In the time it takes for the patient to be transferred to a hospital. Dr. Tayal suggests measures that can be taken to cool the patient.

  • Move to a cooler environment (shade or air-conditioned space).
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Apply cold or warm water to the skin and use fans to enhance evaporative cooling.
  • Ice packs can be applied to the groin, armpits, and neck.
  • Immersion in an ice bath is effective but requires close monitoring to avoid complications.
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