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Mujajati warns over heat stroke in children, elderly

DR AARON Mujajati says the elderly and children are most vulnerable to heat stroke.

He says heat stroke is a medical emergency that arises when the body’s temperature control system is overwhelmed by external high temperatures and succumbs to it.

“#HEAT STROKE It’s hot out there and please take great care of your elderly and children. These two populations are most vulnerable to heat stroke. BUT, it can also happen to you if the conditions permit. #What is heat stroke? Heat stroke is a medical emergency that arises when the temperature control system of your body is overwhelmed by external high temperatures and succumbs to it,” Dr Mujajati explains. “This condition arises when your body temperature rises to and, or above 40 C. If the condition is not addressed it can cause death or permanent damage to vital organs quite quickly. #What are the symptoms of heat stroke? Well, the most common thing you will observe is fainting. So if you find someone has fainted in this heat think about the likelihood of heat stroke.”

He says the other features include seizures, headaches, fever, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, fast shallow breathing, among other things.

“#What are the risk factors? Exposure to high temperatures in extremes of age (elderly and children), alcohol consumption is the heat of the day, exercising in the heat of the day, locking children or yourself in the car in the heat of the day, poor ventilation. #What should you do if you suspect heat stroke? Firstly, call for help. Call an ambulance where possible. Or rush the affected person to the nearest hospital,” Dr Mujajati explains on his Facebook page.

“If it’s not immediately possible to take the victim to the hospital you may do the following: Move the victim into a shade or cooler place. Remove excess clothing like shoes, socks, jacket or rather, if its socially appropriate, remove all the clothes and leave the underwear on. If you have access to water or ice, dip them in ice water or pour ice water on them. If you have a fan turn it on or fan them yourself. Stay with the patient until help arrives. Until next time. Be on the lookout.”

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