We all experience environmental emergencies. These refer to urgent medical situation due to environment factors such as extreme environment temperature, drowning, anaphylactic reactions due to insect and animal bites. Of all, the most common is the heat stroke.
Heat stroke is an acute medical emergency caused by failure of our body’s heat regulating mechanism of the body. It usually occurs when extreme heat waves accompanied wit high humidity occurs. People prone to this are the elderly, very young, those who have underlying medical conditions and those who are taking certain medications.
Suspect heat stroke when you are experiencing any of these: profound central nervous system dysfunction manifested by sudden impaired consciousness, confusion delirium, elevated body temperature (40⁰C or higher), hot, flushed and dry skin, absence of sweating, palpitations and difficulty of breathing. Go to the nearest hospital for prompt treatment or do any of the following home measures:
1. Remove all the patient’s clothing.
2. Cool sheets and towels are provided to the patient. Continues rubbing of sponge wit cool water is advised.
3. Ice wrapped to a cloth must be applied directly to the neck, groin, chest, and axillae of the patient. Precaution must be observed specially for patients with impaired sensory functions.
4. Provide cooling blankets if available.
5. Immerse the patient in a cold water bath with extreme precaution.
6. Position an electric fan directly to the patient.
If after all of the above strategies fails to decrease the patient’s temperature, rush the patient to the nearest hospital.
On the other hand, below is the list of the different ways to prevent Heatstroke.
1. Avoid exposure to immediate temperature and reduce activity in hot weather.
2. Increase your fluid intake.
3. Wear loose clothing.
4. Plan outdoor activities and avoid the hottest part of the day usually between 10:00 am to 2:00pm.