What to do in a Heat Stroke Emergency Situation

Heat Stroke: One Good Reason to Keep Your Summer Cool
Source: Philippine National Red Cross

Just when we all thought that succumbing to the heat of the summer sun within the metro is bad enough this season, here it comes with yet another abhorring revelation—exposure to extremely high temperature can actually make us ill, or worse, lead us to a rather untimely demise.

Science has it: the human body is easily affected by the sudden changes in its environment, including temperature. And since it is basically its nature to easily adapt, intense hotness like what this summer season offers could relatively push it to go beyond its normal temperature range, which could unfortunately raise an actual health concern.

One of the most common health-related problems known to everyone is heat stroke. In a nutshell, heat stroke is defined as an illness due to the body’s erratic response to extreme heat. It characterizes extremely high body temperature (above 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and disturbance in sweating mechanism; thus causing the skin to dry up and redden, and the heart to beat faster which fosters rapid and shallow breathing.

Given the perception that the aforementioned changes are the body’s normal reaction towards the drastic changes in its environment, most people often underestimate the dangers this concern poses. Some rarely know that this condition is in fact a serious matter, most especially in times wherein the victim is a child, an elderly, or a person suffering from an injury. Apparently, aside from the normal weakness the victim can experience, he or she is also prone to suffer seizures and abrupt unconsciousness that could actually lead to fatal complications when left unaided.

So, in order to avoid witnessing the worst case scenario stated above, you might want to browse through the following easy-to-follow guidelines and basic first aid procedures from Philippine Red Cross (PRC), in response to probable uncalled for heat stroke emergency situation:

1.Move the victim to a shady spot. He/She shall be out of a direct heat source. If possible, try to bring him/her in an air-conditioned room to help lower his/her temperature.

2.Cool down the victim. Do not use an alcohol rub. Soak a towel in cold water, and then drape it over the victim. If an electric fan is available, you may also want to make use of it to help lower the victim’s temperature while waiting for professional medical help.

3.Do not give the victim anything though the mouth. A person suffering from heat stroke shall not intake anything through his/her mouth, not even salted drinks.

4.Give first aid for shock. If there is no suspected head, neck, back or leg injury, lay the victim flat and elevate his/her legs up to 8-12 inches from the ground.

5.Always protect the victim’s head. If the victim is having seizures, always make sure that you keep his/her head protected from possible injuries. Aside from that, avoid forcefully restraining his/her seizure-related body movements as it may result to unnecessary bruises and fractures.

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