Our suking ice cream vendor doesn’t look well when he handed me the ice cream I bought from him the other day. He appeared slightly pale, perspiring and exhausted. I told him to take a rest in the shade of the mango tree in front of our house. He told me that he almost fainted the other day, but tried hard not to fall from where he was standing because he was afraid there wouldn’t be anyone to help him. Poor manong. He stopped for a while but continue pushing his cart to offer ice cream to the potential clients nearby.
So, what are the warning signs of heat stroke? Even when we are in the confines of our own homes, we are not spared from heat stroke.
Heat stroke usually starts with signs of heat exhaustion:
- Warm, flushed skin
- Very high fever of 41 degrees centigrade
- Rapid heartbeat
What should we do to prevent heat stroke:
- Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
- Schedule heavy-duty activities for the beginning or end of the day, when it’s cooler.
Here’s what people need to know about heat stroke and how to prevent it.
Infographic credit: doh.gov.ph
- Victims of heat stroke must receive immediate treatment to avoid permanent organ damage. First and foremost, cool the victim.
- Get the victim to a shady area, remove clothing, apply cool or tepid water to the skin (for example you may spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose), fan the victim to promote sweating and evaporation, and place ice packs under the armpits and groin.
- If the person is able to drink liquids, have them drink cool water or other cool beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
- Monitor body temperature with a thermometer and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101 to 102 F (38.3 to 38.8 C).
- Always notify emergency services immediately. If their arrival is delayed, they can give you further instructions for treatment of the victim.
Thanks again Dra. Ning Elio for sharing.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD