Metropolitan Digital

The Conversation

  • Written by Gabriel Neal, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Texas A&M University
Heat stroke: A doctor offers tips to stay safe as temperatures soar

I easily remember laughing at Wile E. Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner while watching Saturday morning cartoons as a child. I can still see the Coyote walking slowly through the sweltering desert, sun high in the sky, sweating, tongue-hanging-out, about to collapse from heat, hunger and thirst. Then, BEEP! BEEP! the Road Runner would fly past, and the chase was on with a perfectly revived Coyote.

If only fixing heat stroke were that quick and easy.

As a primary care physician[1] who treats patients with heat related illnesses, I know that heat stroke is certainly no laughing matter. Each summer, a heat wave (or, like, 17) rolls over the U.S., precipitating a rash of death and hospitalizations related to what is, in doctor-speak, “severe non-exertional hyperthermia.”

Let’s stick to calling it heat stroke.

As much of the nation braces for a heat wave[2], it is important to consider how to prevent this potentially deadly condition.

Heat stroke is when a person’s core body temperature rises too high (often more than 104 F) because high environmental temperature (typically over 90 F) and humidity (over 70% relative humidity)[3] prevents the body from cooling through its normal means of sweating and breathing. As heat stroke develops, our heart beats fast, our lungs breathe fast, we feel dizzy and nauseated, our muscles cramp, and we become confused, eventually losing consciousness entirely.

Without medical intervention, heat stroke is often fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on average, about 658 Americans die each year from heat stroke[4].

Victims of heat stroke can be of any age, but more often it is the elderly, particularly those over the age of 70. As people age, our bodies’ ability to cool declines, and the elderly often take medication that further impairs this ability. In addition, the elderly may not be aware of the dangerous heat wave, and may not have working air conditioning in their home, nor have anyone to check on them. As a physician, I know from experience how the heat of summer and the cold of winter test the lives of the very old.

Other factors that increase the risk for heat stroke are obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Hydration, rest and finding a cool environment are the keys to preventing heat stroke. If you don’t have an air conditioned home or car, steps to take include wearing light, breathable clothing; avoiding time in direct sunlight; not exercising during the hot hours of the day; spraying yourself with water and sitting in front of a fan; taking a cool bath or shower; or placing a cold pack on your neck or armpit. In a heat wave, please take time to check in with your elderly neighbors, family and friends, to make sure they have the means to stay cool.

Fans help, not by lowering the air temperature, but by causing air movement over the skin, causing evaporation of sweat which lowers the body temperature. So fans are useful when there is no air conditioning, but having an air conditioned space is best.

Heat stroke is preventable – just stay cool and stay hydrated. Simple, right? But during a heat wave that is easier said than done, particularly for the poor and elderly. Do what you can to prevent it among your family and friends, and if you should encounter someone having the symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 to get them to an emergency room for evaluation and treatment.

Authors: Gabriel Neal, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Texas A&M University

Read more http://theconversation.com/heat-stroke-a-doctor-offers-tips-to-stay-safe-as-temperatures-soar-120626

Metropolitan republishes selected articles from The Conversation USA with permission

Visit The Conversation to see more

Entertainment News

Phish’s 2018 Fall Tour to Conclude with Four Performances at MGM Grand Garden Arena

LAS VEGAS (May 15, 2018) – Phish, the American rock band known worldwide for its dedicated fan base, recently announced a 14-date Fall tour which will conclude in Las Vegas with four performances at...

Blane Ferguson - avatar Blane Ferguson

Dave Damiani and The No Vacancy Orchestra are “Bending The Standard”

Tina Sinatra, Dave Damiani & Landau Murphy Jr. celebrate 100 years of Frank Sinatra in Los Angeles There have been stories about independent filmmakers, but how about the independent big band...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

Billboard Chart-Topping Saxophonist VANDELL ANDREW Returns With New Single

From the vantage point of 30, his age and the name of his infectious, sensually grooving new full length album, Vandell continues to be fueled by the impressive roar of accolades and achievements th...

Metropolitan Digital - avatar Metropolitan Digital

Metropolitan Business News

Best Practice For Young Professionals Working Through HR Internships

The industry of human relations is vitally important to the health and prosperity of a business.   Whether they are operating in textile manufacturing, accounting, sports, IT development or hospit...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Easy Steps To Gaining SEO Momentum For Your Business

SEO (search engine optimisation) does not have to be a tiresome and overbearing exercise that diverts attention away from the core functions of a business.   SEO Shark affirms this as a smart and ...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Manage An SEO Project On Limited Funds

SEO operators don’t need thousands upon thousands of dollars to become successful.   What SEO practitioners needs more than ever is the skills and diligence to identify problems that are acting a...

News Company - avatar News Company

An Introduction To Coworking For Australian Business Owners

Advancing technology is bringing with it great advantages in communications and networking, and to survive in business you need to keep up. With the rate at which everything changes these days, that...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Oldest Trick in The Book of Selling Cars Within 24 Hours

It takes weeks and sometimes even months to be able to find an appropriate car buyer for car owners in New Zealand. But we have a surprise for residents of Auckland who are trying to sell their car...

News Company - avatar News Company

5 reasons to store your goods

There comes a time in most people’s lives when storing their household goods and furniture in a secure storage facility is necessary. It’s easy to think that you’ll never need to use storage, but it...

Metropolitan Digital - avatar Metropolitan Digital

Holidays

Maya Beach Opens to Tourists

Despite recent reports that Southern Thailand's famous Maya Beach will close for three months this year, in fact no decision to this effect has been made by Thai authorities. Phi Phi Nati...

Maevadi Rosenfeldt - avatar Maevadi Rosenfeldt

SKYN LAUNCHES GUIDE TO THE BEST PLACES TO GET INTIMATE

SKYN®, Australia’s best-selling condom*, today launches its very first SKYN® Places of Intimacy Guide.   Curated in partnership with GQ Magazine and Conde Nast, the Guide features 30 lux...

SKYN - avatar SKYN

Under the Stars with Grand American Adventures

Small group adventure specialist Grand American Adventures offers a comprehensive range of thrilling tours across the Americas, but what really sets their tours apart is the unique accom...

Louise Woodruff - avatar Louise Woodruff