Home Care and Treatment
by Candice McInnes
Heat stroke [hyperthermia] can be life threatening if ignored; it is generally caused by the lack of the body's ability to cope with the sudden and continued rise of its own temperature. This is usually because of prolonged exposure to the sun, low fluid intake and lack of perspiration [person not sweating enough], which generally cools the body down.
During the summer months millions of people are exposed to severe heat, be it in the work place [outdoor laborers], on the sports field or on the beach, great care needs to be taken to prevent dehydration and other heat-connected complaints. Young children and the aged are prone to heat stroke and care should be taken in ensuring they are not exposed for a prolonged period.
These may vary from person to person but the common indicators are as follows:
lack of perspiration
flushed red skin
anxiety and nervousness
loss of consciousness
Summer has extremely high temperature and humidity levels, the following points could cause the person to get the condition:
over exercising - Try to limit your outdoor activities from 11 am to 2 pm [avoid the main heat of the day]
over dressed - summer clothing should be worn during this time
lack of fluids - remember to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, if you are in the sun increase this by as much as 2 liters
excessive alcohol intake - drinking is the sun is not a very good idea as alcohol has a dehydrating effect and combined with the sun could dehydrate you in minutes
cardio vascular problems
dysfunctional sweat glands
some medications pregnancy
chronic medical conditions
This condition can come on very unexpectedly; if the person is showing signs of heat exhaustion, it is very important that they see a doctor as soon as possible.
ensure the patient is move out of the sun and into a cool area to encourage active cooling
remove any restrictive clothing [all if possible but remember the patients dignity]
position the person in such a way that the airway remains open [revival position]
start lowering the body temperature, use a direct fan [if available], start cool sponging with a damp towel as soon as possible
give the patient as much fluid as they can possibly swallow.
Make up an
electrolyte balance of 1 liter of water, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoon glucose
or sugar, mix well and try get the patient to drink it all [in small sips and
repeat as long as the patient is showing signs of the heat exhaustion]