How to act before a heat stroke?

  • The risk of looking like heatstroke increases when temperatures rise sharply

  • If you experience the first symptoms, it is advisable to find a shady place, hydrate yourself and try to reduce body temperature

  • Children, babies, the elderly, obese or chronically ill people are more likely to suffer it

The arrival of the high temperatures typical of summer (especially if the escalation occurs very quickly) causes health alerts to awaken due to a possible increase in cases of heat stroke. It is a reaction of our body to excessive temperatures that has a lot to do with the lack of acclimatization of our body and, therefore, with sudden changes in temperature. If our body is not able to regulate its temperature in time and a ‘peak’ of heat occurs, potentially dangerous symptoms will arise that can even lead to death if they are not treated in time. Fortunately, there are some tips and guidelines that we can follow to avoid them and to help anyone who experiences them. What is a heat stroke? How to treat a heat stroke and what are its symptoms?

What is heatstroke and what are its symptoms?

High temperatures, excessive humidity … are factors that contribute to dehydration of the body and increase the probability of suffering a heatstroke. This occurs when our body is not able to regulate its body temperature by itself, heating up excessively and very quickly, until reaching 40 or 41 degrees. This can cause serious damage: shock, failure in certain organs (kidney, pancreas, liver …), brain damage and, in the most extreme cases, even death.

In case of high temperatures, it is essential to remember that we must constantly hydrate ourselves, as well as wear fresh clothes, avoid direct sun, opt for a light and balanced diet and avoid physical activity in the hottest hours. In addition, it must be taken into account that children and the elderly may be more prone to suffer this type of reaction. The same applies to babies and obese or chronically ill people, all of them are cardio-circulatory or respiratory.

As for the symptoms of heat strokeIt is convenient to know them to act quickly, since this type of reaction can be highly dangerous and even fatal. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for new cases of death from this circumstance every summer.

In the initial phase, the most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. Later, already in the next stage, symptoms such as cramps, elevation of body temperature (in 10-15 minutes it can rise to 40 degrees), seizures, altered consciousness or disorientation appear. We are not here at a point of maximum gravity that demands an immediate reaction to avoid collapse.

How to treat heat stroke

Thus, in case we recognize these symptoms in a person, the first thing we must do is call the emergency room or go to an aid station if we are on a beach or pool.

If this is not possible, try to transport the person to a shady and cool place. Place it semi-sitting with the head raised so that it can breathe properly and that the air enters the body easily. As to how to reduce body temperature, it may be convenient to remove some clothing; fan it; use cold water compresses on the forehead, nape, neck on all parts of the body; and give him to drink fresh water to rehydrate, always little by little and in small sips.

When you feel a little better, it will always be convenient take the affected person to an emergency center so that she could be examined, and will generally need to be followed up for the next several days. If she does not recover or even loses consciousness, lay her down with her legs bent and call the emergency room immediately.

Preventing heat stroke is the key

Regarding prevention, it must also be taken into account that heatstroke is more frequent in early summer, since the body gradually acclimatizes to high temperatures. Excessive physical activity, playing sports in hot hours … can cause this type of reaction, and there is no age that can resist it. Therefore, even if you are not in a risk group, do not forget to be cautious and stop your activity as soon as you notice the slightest symptom.

Finally, it should be remembered that, in addition to heat stroke, we can suffer some less serious episodes, but that, if left untreated, can lead to more serious problems:

  • Insolation. It is manifested by an intense headache after being exposed to the sun.
  • Cramps They usually appear due to dehydration.
  • Syncope. It is about fainting caused by the lack of cerebral irrigation after being exposed to the sun while standing. They usually occur in people with low blood pressure.
  • Heat exhaustion. It resembles heat stroke in its symptoms and causes weakness, visual disturbances, headache, vomiting, or fainting.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, protect yourself from direct sun, hydrate yourself, rest and see a doctor if symptoms persist for more than an hour.

Source: Cuatro – Noticias de Ășltima hora, deportes, programas y series by

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