The Bristol Press – HEALTHY LIVING: Be careful for heat-related diseases this summer season

While this July 4th weekend didn’t bring the weather we all hoped for, hot and sunny summer days are sure to flare up again and likely produce stretches of over 90 degree heat, similar to the recent wave that hit the region. If you’re like me, you can look forward to the warmer weather and associated activities – kids play outside, the beach fills up, and us adults spend hours gardening or working in the yard. It all sounds great, but please keep in mind the damage the sun and extreme heat can cause.

Two of the most common medical problems caused by excessive sun exposure are heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat stroke is a condition that occurs as a result of your body becoming overheated, typically due to prolonged exposure or physical exertion at high temperatures. This is the most severe form of heat injury. Heat stroke can occur if your body temperature increases to 104 degrees or higher.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

• High body temperature

• Hot, red, dry, or damp skin

• Fast and strong pulse

• A headache

• Dizziness

• nausea

• Confusion

• fainting (fainting)

What to do if you or someone has these symptoms

Call 911 immediately first as heat stroke is a medical emergency. If possible, move the person out of the sun into a cooler room and put on cool towels or put them in a cool bath to lower their body temperature. DO NOT give the person anything to drink!

Treating yourself at home is not enough to fight heat stroke. If you have signs or symptoms of heat stroke, see an emergency doctor. Healthcare professionals will take the appropriate measures to safely cool your body.

While heat exhaustion isn’t always an emergency, it can still be serious. It is a condition that can have a variety of symptoms, including:

• Heavy sweating

• Cold, pale, and clammy skin

• Fast or weak pulse

• nausea

• muscle cramps

• tiredness and / or weakness

• Dizziness

• A headache

• fainting (fainting)

What to do if you or someone has these symptoms

Similar to heat stroke, take the person to a cool location, loosen their clothes to increase airflow, and place a cool, wet towel on their body or even put them in a cool bath. Small sips of water should be consumed. DO NOT drink sugary or alcoholic beverages to try to rehydrate yourself!

See a doctor immediately if vomiting occurs, symptoms worsen, or lasts for more than an hour.

In an emergency with no heat, such as B. Heat cramps as a result of heat exhaustion, the following steps can lower your body temperature:

• Go to a shady or air-conditioned place

• Cool off with damp sheets and a fan

• Take a cool shower or bath

• Rehydrate

Let’s have some fun this summer, but be sure!

Sarah Ngyuen is a Certified Medical Assistant with Bristol Health’s MedWorks on Farmington Avenue in Bristol. She is a member of the Connecticut Association of Physician Assistant and the American College of Cardiology. She is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Monday 5th July 2021 at 8:32 pm. Updated: Monday, July 5, 2021 8:35 PM.

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