Hyperthermia, more commonly known by the colloquial term heatstroke, is a condition that normally occurs during summer months. With summer season in Canada in full swing, a lot of people are at risk without preventive measures like dependable air conditioning in Edmonton. As a report by CNN states:
“Heatstroke deaths often surge in summer months as temperatures rise.
Your normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit; with heatstroke the body can warm up to 106 degrees F or higher in 10 to 15 minutes.”
So how can one identify heat stroke when it happens, and prevent it from escalating accordingly? Read on.
The symptoms of a heat stroke often mimics those of a heart attack. A person experiencing heat stroke also displays a higher-than-normal body temperature. Once the core temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), it is a main identifying factor. Another symptom is the altered mental state or behavior, wherein the person experiences confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, and seizures.
If the person’s sweating pattern is disturbed, it is also a sign. For instance, heatstroke induced by hot weather can cause the skin to feel hot and dry to the touch; on the other hand, heatstroke brought about by strenuous exercise causes the skin to feel moist. Other symptoms include reddish skin, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, and throbbing headache.
If someone is experiencing heatstroke, it is best to call for an ambulance for an immediate transfer to the nearest hospital. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, one must initiate first aid procedures to buy some more time. First, the person must be moved to a cooler environment, ideally an air conditioned space. If such a place isn’t available, a cool, dry area will do, such as indoors or anywhere with a shade. Also, several pieces of unnecessary clothing need to be taken off.
If possible, the person’s core temperature must be taken and cooled down to 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternative strategies can include fanning over the patient while wetting his/her skin with water, applying ice packs to the armpits, groin, neck, and back, or immersing the person in an ice bath.
Installing efficient air conditioners in Edmonton from companies like Capital Plumbing and Heating Ltd might not be enough to prevent heatstroke alone, but they offer a great starting point for both prevention and first-aid. This summer, keep those dangers at bay.
(Source: Heatstroke: A Summer Danger, CNN, June 25, 2014)