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Heat Wave Alert! Check Out First Aid Action Guide!

  • IWB Post
  •  May 27, 2015


With a deadly heat wave claiming over 1,000 lives in India, we all need to be aware and take precautions. In this post we will briefly tell you about symptoms of the heatstroke, the first aid to render and how to prevent overheating. 

Heat stroke facts

  • Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia in which the body temperature is elevated dramatically.
  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not promptly and properly treated.
  • Cooling the victim is a critical step in the treatment of heat stroke. Always notify emergency services immediately if heat stroke is suspected.
  • The most important measures to prevent heat strokes are to avoid becoming dehydrated and to avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather.
  • Infants, the elderly, athletes, and outdoor workers are the groups at greatest risk for heat stroke.

Heat stroke symptoms

  • Body temperature above 103° F
  • Rapid pulse
  • Reduced sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Warm, red, dry skin

First Aid in Action:

1. Call Emergency Service.

2. Lower Body Temperature Quickly While Waiting for Emergency Services to Arrive.

  • Get the person into air conditioning/cooling if possible or out of the sun and into the shade.
  • Spray the person with cool water, or apply cold wet cloths or ice packs to the armpits, neck, and groin. Fan air across the person to increase cooling. These methods help cool the person quickly.
  • Do not give the person anything to drink if the person is not alert or is vomiting.

3. Treat Symptoms

  • If the person experiences seizures, keep him or her safe from injury.
  • If the person vomits, turn the person on his or her side to keep the airway open.

4. Follow Up

  • At the hospital, health care providers will re-hydrate the person and continue cooling as needed.

Here Are The Do’s And Don’ts Prescribed By The National Disaster Management Authority:

What To Do During A Heat Wave

– Recognize the signs of heat stroke, heat rash or heat cramps such as weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, sweating and seizures.

– Drink lots of water

– Rest in shade; and take breaks if you must work in the sun

– Place a cool, wet cloth on your head to cool off

– Check on neighbours and elderly family members to ensure that they’re keeping cool

– Wear light and loose clothes

– Use an umbrella or hat; or cover your head with a cloth

What NOT To Do During A Heat Wave

– Do not go out in the direct sun

– Avoid extensive physical activity

– Do not send children or pets out in the sun or leave them in closed vehicles.

– Do not consume caffeinated drinks (including aerated drinks) and alcohol during extreme heat

– Avoid wearing dark, heavy or tight clothes

– Avoid cooking during peak heat hours. If you must cook, open doors and windows to ventilate the cooking area adequately.

Please stay safe and check on elderly neighbors as well. 

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