There is a spectrum of preventable heat stress conditions, such as heat cramps, to severe forms, such as heat stroke.

Heat cramps are painful skeletal muscle contractions and severe muscle spasms with onset during or shortly after exercise.

Heat exhaustion is diagnosed based on symptoms and clinical findings of a core body temperature slightly elevated but less than 40C , high pulse, moist skin, nausea, thirst, and weakness , headache, dizziness, fatigue, impaired judgement and occasionally psychosis.

Heat syncope occurs in the setting of prolonged vigorous physical activity or prolonged standing in a hot humid environment followed by sudden collapse, low blood pressure and weak pulse.

Heat stroke is life threatening emergency. Hall mark is brain dysfunction where core body temperature is above 40 degree Celsius.


Treatment

Heat cramps move patient to shaded , cool environment and provide oral rehydration solution to replace electrolytes and water. Advise rest for Atleast 2 days.

Heat exhaustion Move patient to shades cool environment, provide adequate fluid and electrolyte replacement, initiate active cooling measures if necessary. IV saline or glucose solution may be administered.

Heat Syncope treatment is essentially same as for heat exhaustion.

Heat Stroke Initially, the patients ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) must be addressed and stabilised, then treatment is aimed at rapidly reducing the core body temperature within 1 hour while supporting circulation and perfusion. ICU care is needed for the patients . In a nut shell, to avoid heat related illnesses make sure you avoid direct sunlight- wear a hat, cotton clothes, sunglasses, carry an umbrella, maintain hydration with plenty of oral liquids and avoid prolonged stay in high temperatures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.