Dangerous to life: what is heatstroke and how to escape from it
Summer has come, which means the time has come for the sea, sun and beaches. But, if many people know that you need to protect yourself from the sun, few people think that excessive heat is also harmful to the body and can cause heatstroke. What is it and how to act in such cases, he told Life hacker.
Signs that heatstroke is approaching
In common words, heatstroke is overheating. It happens when the body, for some reason, cannot cool down, that is, return to a healthy temperature. It is considered to be values from 36,1 to 37,2 ° C.
The reasons for overheating can be different: heat, high physical activity, lack of moisture in the body. But in fact, overheating is equally dangerous, regardless of the reasons that caused it.
Sunstroke is a special case of heat. This is a local overheating of the head caused by direct sunlight.
But heatstroke does not occur overnight. He has a harbinger - thermal exhaustion. This is an increasing condition that signals: the body cannot cope with thermoregulation, it urgently needs help to cool down.
Thermal exhaustion can be recognized by the following signs in various combinations:
- Pale, cold, clammy skin.
- Weakness and confusion.
- Feeling as if dark in the eyes.
- Intensified sweating.
- Nausea, mild vomiting.
- Muscle spasms and cramps.
- Dark urine (color indicates dehydration).
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Heatstroke symptoms follow after exhaustion symptoms and include:
- Body temperature is above 40 ° C.
- Labored breathing.
- Excessive vomiting.
- Serious heart rhythm disturbances.
- Potential damage to internal organs due to heat shock.
- Malfunctions of the brain.
If you find any of these symptoms in yourself, then you need to urgently take action, because your life is at risk.
First aid for thermal exhaustion
If we are only talking about the initial symptoms of overheating, the first aid algorithm looks like this.
- Stop physical activity.
- Get out of the sun (get out of a hot room) into the shade, into a light draft, into a room cooled by air conditioning.
- If possible, remove all clothing.
- Put gauze or a towel dipped in cool water on your forehead.
- Drink at least 1–2 glasses of water. This is necessary to eliminate possible dehydration and provide the body with moisture to produce adequate sweat.
- Drink Rehydron or isotonic sports drink. This liquid contains electrolytes that are important for the metabolism and functioning of the nervous system. And you may have lost them with intense sweating.
First aid for heatstroke
If you already have heatstroke symptoms, local help may be ineffective. If there is vomiting, cardiac abnormalities, light-headedness, call an ambulance immediately.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency, and the person experiencing it needs emergency help.
While the ambulance is traveling, follow the same procedures as for thermal exhaustion. To increase the effect, they can be supplemented with "heavy artillery":
- Cover the victim with ice packs (frozen vegetables-berries are also suitable), wrapped in a thin sheet.
- Place the person in a cold water bath to quickly bring the critical temperature down. Important: This advice can only be used if other people are helping you (the victim). Diving alone is dangerous.
The arriving doctors will assess the patient's condition. If pre-medical first aid for heatstroke is delivered on time and is effective, hospitalization is not required.
If you have suffered from heatstroke, you will be especially sensitive to high temperatures in the coming week. Therefore, observe these precautions carefully.
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1. Drink more water
Best of all, 2-4 cups of liquid (water, fruit and vegetable juices) every hour you spend in direct sunlight. This is especially important if in the heat you are still doing manual labor. To sweat effectively, your body needs more moisture than usual. Do not allow it to be deficient.
2. Try to spend the hottest hours indoors
In summer, the interval between 11:00 and 15:00 is considered dangerous. During this period, try not to be outdoors, or at least minimize physical activity in the heat.
3. Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing
Clothing should be as loose as possible to facilitate air circulation around the body.
4. Don't forget about the headdress
A hat or bucket hat will help prevent sunstroke. A cap and a bandana are not very suitable on a hot day: it is better to choose a hat that is light and with wide brim.
5. Take a cool shower or bath often
This will help lower your body temperature.
6. Don't drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks
They contribute to dehydration and vasospasm. Because of this, the body produces less sweat than it needs to cool.
7. Control the color of urine
Dark is a sign of dangerous dehydration.
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