Loss of body fluids and salt is an important factor complicating heat-related problems.Updated: Sep 20, 2003 21:32 IST
The effects of excessive heat may be either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both these conditions are caused by too high a temperature in the atmosphere, but the signs and symptoms are quite different.
Humid surroundings also add to the problems. Loss of body fluids and salt is an important factor complicating heat-related problems.
If the patient is unconscious, follow the general ruelsof treating an unconscious patient.
If the patient is conscious, move him to a cool place, give him plenty of salted water (¼ teaspoon of salt to a tumbler of water) and keep him comfortable. Observe for signs of heat stroke.
Bring down body temperature as quickly as possible.
Keep the patient in the coolest possible place.
Remove his clothing and sprinkle cool water (if possible iced) on his body and wrap him in a thin wet sheet and fan him. The temperature begins to fall.
When it gets lower than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap him in a dry sheet and keep fanning him so that the temperature does not rise again. On recovery, treat as for heat exhaustion.
|Heat Exhaustion||Heat Stroke|
|Headache, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting and occasionally Abdominal Cramps||Occurs suddenly but may follow untreated exhaustion|
|Unconsciousness follows||Unconsciousness rapid but may come after headache|
|Face is pale and pulse becomes weak||Pulse is full and bounding. Face becomes flushed. Skin is hot and dry|
|Temperature Normal or slightly high||Temperature rises rapidly, sometimes more than 107 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Symptoms of shock||Death may occur if temperature is not controlled|
First Published: Sep 20, 2003 21:32 IST