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Heat stroke symptoms and first aid measures

Heat stroke symptoms and first aid measures
Heat stroke symptoms and first aid measures (Pixabay)

When heat is continuously accumulated in the body due to strong sunlight and high temperature, it can cause various abnormal symptoms inside the body due to malfunction of the central nervous system. Heat stroke refers to a physical abnormality that occurs when the body loses its central function to regulate body temperature when it is overexposed to a high temperature and humidity environment, and the body does not dissipate heat smoothly. In the case of heat stroke, in which the body temperature rises to between 37 and 40 °C due to exposure to strong sunlight and high temperature, the body temperature rises to between 37 and 40 ° C. is known as The main cause of heat stroke is when you are exposed to excessively high temperature and humidity for a long time, or when you exercise or do physical work in a hot state. When the human body is exposed to a high-temperature environment, the body’s body temperature maintenance center located in the hypothalamus sweats and dissipates heat to keep the body temperature within a normal range. However, if the function of the hypothalamus’s body temperature maintenance center continues for a long time and goes beyond the limit point, the function of temperature regulation is lost. In addition, the human body cannot dissipate body temperature to the outside, so the central nervous system and various organs are affected, which can cause heat stroke symptoms. Now, let’s learn about the various symptoms that appear when heat stroke symptoms occur, as well as various information about emergency response and prevention.

The main symptoms of heat stroke

Heat stroke often develops suddenly, and symptoms usually appear as a result of a change in consciousness. In some patients, the aura may last minutes or hours before onset. Shortly before the onset of heat stroke, headaches, nausea, dizziness, convulsions, and visual disturbances appear. Common symptoms of heat stroke include high fever of 40°C or higher, impaired consciousness, and dry skin. As the muscles stiffen, breathing becomes shallow and slow, blood pressure may drop. And heat stroke, which occurs after being in a hot environment for a long time, is characterized by not sweating at the time of diagnosis. In the case of exercise-related heat stroke, it is sometimes diagnosed as a sweating condition. Sunstroke, a febrile emergency disease that is usually caused by exposure to sunlight, is known to be cured in most cases by balancing electrolytes while supplying fluids in a cool environment as mentioned above. However, if left untreated, it can develop into heat stroke, which can cause changes and loss of consciousness, seizures, and convulsions. In addition, heat stroke causes damage and shock to all organs in the human body, such as muscles, liver, and kidneys, and in the worst case, life-threatening fatal consequences. Therefore, it is recommended to take emergency measures as soon as possible when symptoms appear, and it is important to pay more attention to daily health care to prevent the rise in body temperature. In particular, more careful management and attention are required for those who belong to the occupational group with many outdoor activities in summer or for the elderly with poor ability to regulate body temperature.

How to respond to and prevent heat stroke

1. Appropriate First Aid Measures

In the event of heat stroke, the most important thing is to implement cooling therapy to lower the patient’s body temperature as quickly as possible. The patient should be moved quickly away from the sun or heat generating environment to keep the body cool and comfortable. You should also wrap the patient in a wet sheet or towel and pour cold water over it, or raise the legs higher than the head to help them relax. As such initial measures, the body temperature should be quickly lowered and then immediately transported to the hospital. In hospitals, cooling therapy is performed to lower body temperature using ice water, a cooling fan, or cooling blanket, and methods such as gastric lavage, bladder lavage, and rectal lavage using cold water are implemented to lower core body temperature. In addition, appropriate treatment will be performed to prevent complications of various organs that may accompany it.

2. Minimize exposure to high temperature and high humidity environment

The best way to prevent heat stroke is not to stay in an environment of high temperature and humidity for a long time. In the hot summer, avoid the daytime when the temperature is the highest, and if you cannot avoid outdoor activities, you should minimize exposure to sunlight by using a hat, sunglasses, and a parasol. You should also wear light-colored clothes that breathe well and avoid clothes that are too tight. If you need to exercise or work in a hot environment, you should take frequent breaks in the shade.

3. Sufficient hydration

You should drink plenty of water before being exposed to a high temperature environment or before feeling thirsty. Also, drinking an ionic beverage with high electrolyte content to replenish sweat can be a good way, and supplementing salt and minerals together also helps prevent electrolyte abnormalities in the body. However, if you consume too much coffee, tea, soda, or alcohol with a high caffeine content, you will be expelled more quickly. It is also known that there is a high risk of heat stroke even if you have other underlying diseases or poor nutrition.

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