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Fit & Proper: How to prevent heatstroke

Your weekly health guide

R K Singal 

People take shelter in the shade of a tree at a park during a hot day in New Delhi on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)
People take shelter in the shade of a tree at a park during a hot day in New Delhi on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

How do you explain in medical terms?

When the body temperature is greater than 104° F (40° C), it is termed as prolonged exposure to along with hot, dry skin and central abnormalities such as delirium, convulsions, or

 
is of two types: non-exertional, and exertional. Irrespective of the type, instant medical attention is essential as soon as symptoms show up.
 
Who are the most vulnerable?
 
It is most likely to affect infants, the elderly, athletes and outdoor workers.
 
What precautions should be taken?
 
The following precautions can be taken:
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and avoid exposure to the direct sunlight for long periods
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes as they don’t allow your body to cool easily
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, it maintains the electrolyte balance in your body
  • Avoid packaged juices that are high in calories; also avoid caffeine and alcohol, which may cause dehydration
  • Avoid too much of travelling and stay in; restrict travelling in peak sun
  • Eat light food and avoid spicy food
  • If you are on fluid restricted diets or have any pre-condition such as epilepsy, kidney, liver or heart disease, consult your doctors before increasing fluid intake
 
R K Singal
R K Singal Principal Consultant & Director and Coordinator of Medical & Allied Services, BLK Super Speciality Hospital
Do any medications help, if you get a heat stroke?
 
Before administering medication, it is better to move the affected person from direct sunlight to a cooler place. Immediately take off extra clothes and spray cold water to low the body temperature.  Use ice packs if the temperature doesn't come down. Normal medicines can be given for temperature, vomiting and an upset stomach and so on. It is not advisable to self-medicate. Just increase the fluid intake
 
What are main symptoms?
 
Following are the main symptoms of a heatstroke:
  • Body temperature is greater than 104° F
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Dry flushed skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Possible delirium, and sometimes loss of consciousness or even
 
What precautions should be taken after recovering from so that you don't suffer a relapse?
 
Once you recover from heatstroke, try to follow the precautionary measures that the doctor prescribes such as avoiding exposure to direct sunlight and heat, drinking  plenty of fluids, staying indoors, and eating light food. Also take the prescribed medication before going outdoors.
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First Published: Sat, June 24 2017. 22:37 IST
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