📩 26/07/2023 12:43
Istanbul Okan University Hospital Emergency Service Specialist, Prof. Dr. Ali Osman Yıldırım warned against heat strokes. prof. Dr. Ali Osman Yıldırım, stating that hyperthermia or heat disease, which has come to the fore with extreme heat in recent days, is an abnormally high body temperature, "It usually occurs as a result of doing too much physical activity in hot, humid weather." said.
Stating that hyperthermia occurs when the body absorbs or produces more heat than it can release, Yıldırım said, “The normal body temperature of a person is about 36-36,5 degrees Celsius. Any body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius is above average. Hyperthermia is often the result of overexertion in hot, humid conditions. Most forms of hyperthermia are preventable.” made the statement.
'Hyperthermia should not be confused with fever'
Yıldırım said, “The important thing here is; Hyperthermia is not the same as fever. When you have hyperthermia, your body temperature rises above a certain "set point" controlled by your hypothalamus (the part of your brain that controls many body functions). But when you have a fever, your hypothalamus actually raises your body's set point temperature. This deliberate increase in body temperature is your body's attempt to fight off a disease or infection." said.
Yıldırım stated that hyperthermia defines a group of heat diseases and listed these diseases from the least to the most severe as follows:
Heat cramps: Muscle cramps can occur if you lose too many electrolytes (salts and other important substances in your body fluids) through sweating. Heat cramps often occur in your arms, hands, lower legs, and feet.
Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. Your body temperature may be as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Heat exhaustion can cause heat stroke.
Heat rash: If you sweat a lot in hot, humid weather, you may develop a skin irritation called heat rash. It looks like a cluster of small, red pimples or blisters. The heat rash usually develops in your elbow crease, under your breasts, near your groin, or on your upper chest and neck.
Heat stress: Occupational heat stress can occur if you have a job that requires you to work in hot conditions. Examples include firefighters, miners, and construction workers. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
heat stroke: The most severe form of hyperthermia is heat stroke. It is a life-threatening condition that causes your body temperature to rise above 40 degrees Celsius. It causes problems in your brain and other organs. Heat stroke is particularly dangerous if your body temperature rises above 41 degrees Celsius.”
Who are at risk?
“Anyone can get heat sickness, but they are particularly at high risk if they:”
prof. Dr. Ali Osman Yıldırım listed the high risk group as follows:
“People who are dehydrated and do not drink enough fluids, being over 65 years old or under 4 years old, doing strenuous physical activity in hot weather, excessive alcohol consumption, electrolyte imbalance, if you have certain diseases that affect your ability to sweat such as cystic fibrosis, your heart, lungs, kidneys, Problems with your liver, thyroid or blood vessels occur in those who wear tight and heavy clothing if you have certain medical conditions, are overweight or underweight, are taking certain medications, such as stimulants, sedatives, tranquilizers, or heart and blood pressure. Between 2004 and 2018, an average of 702 heat-related deaths occurred in the United States each year. Athletes, outdoor workers, military trainees, infants and the elderly are most likely to develop hyperthermia.”
What are the symptoms of hyperthermia?
“Heat cramps typically cause sudden muscle spasms in your feet, calves, thighs, hands or arms. Cramps may be painful or tense. Your muscles may ache after the cramp is gone.” warned.
Yıldırım listed the symptoms of heat exhaustion as follows:
“Blurred vision, lightheadedness, rapid breathing or heart rate, tiredness, headache, lightheadedness or syncope (fainting), low blood pressure, muscle aches or cramps, nausea and vomiting, weakness”
Emphasizing that the symptoms of heat stroke can often be similar to heat exhaustion, Yıldırım said, “Anhidrosis (dry skin without sweating), balance problems, Delirium (confusion or disorientation), hot, red skin or very pale skin, low or high blood pressure, seizures,” he said.
Stating that people with heat stroke can develop shock, Yıldırım said, “He may go into a coma, experience organ failure or die. If you experience heatstroke symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.” he said.
How to treat heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash and heat stress?
Yıldırım noted the following about what to do in case of mild to moderate symptoms of heat illness:
“Stop physical activity and rest in a cool, well-ventilated environment, remove heavy or tight clothing, drink slightly salty beverages to replace lost electrolytes. You can drink sports drinks or water mixed with a few teaspoons of salt. Avoid caffeinated beverages, apply cold compresses to your skin, keep irritated skin dry. apply a powder or ointment to reduce discomfort from the rash, never leave children (or pets) in closed, hot places such as cars, stay in air-conditioned or well-ventilated areas during heat waves, wear light, loose and light-colored clothing if going out in the heat.”
Emphasizing that if it is necessary to do activities in the heat due to work or sports, Yıldırım said, “Start doing light work or exercising about two weeks before you have to do the really hard work. Then gradually build up your body's ability to withstand high temperatures. If possible, plan to do the job early in the morning when it can be cooler. It is necessary to try to be in closed areas between 10.00:16.00 and XNUMX:XNUMX in the morning.” he said.
Yıldırım listed the situations in which a doctor should be consulted as follows:
“If you have a high fever, difficulty walking, breathing or speaking, sweating excessively, losing consciousness, looking confused or confused, be sure to consult your specialist physician. Infants, the elderly, athletes, and people with demanding outdoor occupations are at the highest risk for hyperthermia. People with heat illness should lower their body temperature immediately. At the first signs of heat stroke, 112 should be called immediately.”