heat waves they are becoming more frequent, intense and extensive. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, demanding physical activity outdoors or underlying diseases They can aggravate its consequences, even to death.

Heat stroke is the disorder that our body suffers when it finds itself exposed, for a prolonged time, to high temperatures or due to physical exertion in a suffocating environment. A person can suffer a heat stroke when the ambient temperature exceeds that of the body, that is, from 36-37 degrees Celsius..

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“The rise in ambient temperature it can affect health and cause death during a heat wave. Its effects impact human beings and natural systems”, affirms the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the face of these extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent, prolonged and intense in the world.

Through the textHeat wave and measures to take”, PAHO publishes that, in response to extreme heat, our body “increases basal temperature and the reaction of the thermoregulatory center that causes a massive flow of blood to the periphery and sweat. Both mechanisms can overload the cardiovascular system and generate dehydration with loss of fluids and electrolytes.

These alterations occur more easily in those who present conditions of physical vulnerability. “People at risk are considered, especially children and the elderly, obese people, healthy individuals who perform physical activity outdoors, people with chronic diseases (cardiopulmonary, renal, psychiatric)who receive medication (anticholinergics, antihypertensives, diuretics) and/or use drugs”, details the agency dependent on the World Health Organization (WHO).

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

Prolonged activity in extreme heat and especially in the sun can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fever, rapid pulse and rapid breathing.
  • Changes in mental state or behavior, such as confusion, agitation, slurred speech.
  • Dry, flushed skin or excessive sweating.
  • Headache, nausea and vomiting.
  • Fainting.

What to do before a heat stroke?

If you come across a person suffering from the symptoms listed above, the first thing you should do is seek urgent medical help.

While it arrives, “move the person to a cool place. Lay her in a horizontal position and raise her legs and hips. Remove clothing and initiate external cooling, for example, by applying cold packs to the neck, armpits and groin, continuously fanning and spraying the skin with water at a temperature between 25°C and 30°C. Measure body temperature. Do not give acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol ”, recommends the WHO.

How to prevent a heat stroke?

  • Find out about alerts and weather forecasts.
  • Avoid exposing yourself to the sun during the hottest hours.
  • Do not leave children or the elderly unattended in parked vehicles.
  • Avoid doing strenuous exercise or activities outdoors without protection.
  • Drink water every 2 hours, even without feeling thirsty.
  • Take cold showers or baths in safe places.
  • Keep your home cool by covering the windows during the day and using an air conditioner or fan during the hottest hours.
  • If you have chronic illnesses and use medications, consult your doctor.

The important thing is to avoid exposing yourself to extreme temperatures, because heat waves, as well as cold ones, are becoming more frequent, intense and prolonged in the world.

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