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Sunstroke

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.



Symptoms

These may vary from person to person but the common indicators are as follows:



* lack of perspiration
* flushed red skin
* dehydrated skin
* elevated temperature
* hallucinations
* bizarre activities
* illusions
* anxiety and nervousness
* convulsions
* loss of consciousness

Causes

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 [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
* obesity
* 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.



Home remedies

* 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]



The patient should start feeling a little better after the above but remember this is a very serious condition and it is advisable to get the patient to the emergency room or your doctor for further treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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