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What are symptoms of heat stroke during peak summer season? Know preventive measures

By being aware of the dangers of heat stroke during a heat wave and taking necessary precautions, we can prevent this potentially dangerous condition and stay safe during extreme temperatures.

Written By : Health Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: April 23, 2024 11:37 IST
heat stroke during a heat wave
Image Source : SOCIAL Know the symptoms of heat stroke during a heat wave.

As the temperature goes up, the cases of heat stroke are increasing in India. During a heat wave, heat stroke is a serious concern and can have life-threatening consequences. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. According to Dr Ranga Santhosh Kumar, Consultant General Physician & Diabetologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, when heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature (Fatal if treatment is delayed)

Infants and the elderly are at especially high risk because their bodies may not be able to regulate temperature effectively. Athletes, soldiers and people with occupations that require physical labour in hot environments are also susceptible to heatstroke.

Other factors that increase your risk of heatstroke include:

  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Being male.
  • Being dehydrated.
  • Drugs that affect your body’s ability to regulate temperatures, such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilisers, or heart and blood pressure medications.
  • Certain diseases affect your ability to sweat, such as cystic fibrosis.
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as a sleep disorder or problems with your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, thyroid or blood vessels.
  • Wear heavy or tight clothing, such as protective gear.
  • Having a high fever.
  • Having obesity.

In most cases, it’s possible to prevent heatstroke by:

Avoid strenuous physical activity in hot, humid conditions.

Consuming sports drinks, lightly salted water or broth.
Gradually let your body acclimate to warm temperatures over several weeks if you will have to be in hot conditions for work or sports. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing if you will be out in the heat.

Remember, if left untreated, it can lead to organ damage and even death. It is important to take precautions during a heat wave, such as staying hydrated, avoiding strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day, and seeking shelter in air-conditioned spaces. If someone is showing signs of heat stroke, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately and take measures to cool their body down, such as applying cold compresses and moving them to a cooler area.

ALSO READ: Heat Stroke in Summer: What are the causes and how to prevent it?

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