When the temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius a number of heat related illnesses take centre stage – these range from cramps, to heat exhaustion to the more serious medical condition called a heat stroke.
Heat related illnesses happen because the regulation of the body’s temperature is disrupted because of the input of heat from the environment is more and the output of the heat from the skin is lesser, so heat gets trapped in the body. Here are some heat related conditions that occur when the mercury hits above 40 degrees Celsius.
Heat cramps cause involuntary painful contractions of skeletal muscles in the shoulders, calves and thighs. In case of heat cramps, resting in a relaxed and cool environment is recommended. Also, the person needs to take salt and fluid replacement orally – an ORS solution, or tender coconut water – anything that restores electrolytes in the body.
Those who suffer from heat exhaustion will experience muscle cramps, headache, some dizziness or nausea and in some cases throw up as well.
If the person is experiencing heat exhaustion it is imperative that they are moved from the heat to a cooler area and replenished with fluids. If the person does not feel any relief in 30 minutes, then the person needs to be cooled down in an aggressive manner to bring down their core temperature to 39 degrees (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit). For those experiencing heat exhaustion – taking them to a cooler area, icing their neck, and giving them fluids should help bring down the heat in the body
When a person has a body temperature of more than 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and they start exhibiting symptoms of nervous system dysfunction like seizures, delirium, confusion or coma, then they likely have a heat stroke. Immediately moving to a cooler area and seeking emergency medical attention is advised as hospitals can quickly aggressively cool down the core temperature of a patient experiencing a heat stroke.