Heat stroke occurs when the body can’t cool itself and maintain a healthy temperature. The body normally cools itself by sweating but sometimes this isn’t enough and the body temperature keeps rising. If a person becomes dehydrated and cannot sweat enough to cool the body, their body temperature may rise to dangerous levels causing heat stroke. Heat stoke can be life threatening.
Anyone can suffer from heat stroke, although babies, children and the elderly are more susceptible. You are at higher risk if you have conditions such as asthma, diabetes, pregnancy, epilepsy, heart conditions or obesity. Some medicines, drugs and alcohol can also increase your risk (ask your pharmacist).
The common symptoms of heat stroke may include dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, hot and dry skin, rapid heartbeat, confusion, fainting and nausea.
To avoid heat stroke, it’s important to be sensible in hot weather. Stay indoors, avoid strenuous activity, wear lightweight clothing and drink cool water regularly through the day. It is also a good idea to reduce alcohol and caffeine intake as they have a dehydrating effect.
If someone is suffering from heat stoke you should call an ambulance immediately and while waiting for help to arrive, move the person indoors, remove clothing, apply cool water to the skin, apply cold packs to groin and arm pits and lie the person down with their feet slightly elevated.
Your local Caremore pharmacy has a range of oral rehydration solutions specially formulated with a balance of electrolytes and glucose to prevent and treat dehydration.