CPR First Aid

tips to prevent heatstroke

Tips to Prevent Heatstroke

Heat waves can increase the number of fatalities and emergency hospital admissions, particularly among vulnerable populations like the elderly, small children, and those with chronic illnesses. More people can perish in extreme summer heatwaves than in all bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods, and thunderstorms put together. They can cause heat exhaustion and even heatstroke, a serious sickness brought on by excessive heat that, if untreated, can be deadly to many. 

According to a study, Brisbane has increased emergency hospital admissions and mortality data during extreme summer heatwaves. 

When extreme summer heatwaves season occurs, It is best to be aware of the steps you would take to prevent heatstroke and to be familiar with first aid techniques when this happens to you, your family member, or someone who is at risk. 

What is Heatstroke? 

Heat stroke is a very serious heat-related illness. This is a medical emergency as it may lead to unconsciousness and death. All the body organs may be affected. It occurs generally when the body temperature has reached 40 degrees or above.

Causes of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to heat. You can get heatstroke inside or outside, including by exercising in the heat. 

You are more likely than others to get heatstroke if you are:

  • Over 75 or very young
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Overweight
  • Working or exercising in hot conditions
  • Affected by chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes
  • Taking certain medications

Warning Signs of Heatstroke

Here are the warning signs of heatstroke that must be put into attention in order to prevent serious complications and save someone from the risk of fatality.

  • Sudden rise in body temperature
  • Hot and dry and possibly red skin, possibly with no sweat
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dry, swollen tongue
  • Intense thirst
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Headache, nausea, or vomiting
  • Dizziness, confusion, seizures, or loss of consciousness
  • Trouble speaking, slurred speech
  • Problems concentrating or coordinating movements
  • Call 000 and ask for an ambulance

Prevention of Heat Stroke 

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. It’s important to be prepared for extreme heat, especially if you have existing medical conditions. 

List of Heat-related Illnesses

  1. Heat Rash

    Small red bumps or clusters of blisters that resemble pimples are typically found on the neck and upper chest

  2. Dehydration

    When the body does not contain enough water, dehydration results. It takes place when the body loses more electrolytes and fluids than it can manufacture. Dehydration is a frequent consequence of conditions brought on by the heat, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  3. Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps are one of the first signs of heat illness and can also signify heat exhaustion.

  4. Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is a likely event when a person’s body temperature rises above 37° C — the body’s normal operating temperature is 36°–37° C. This can lead to heatstroke without prompt treatment.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

According to Mayo Clinic, here are the possible sign and symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Low blood pressure upon standing
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache

How to Treat Heat-Related Illness?

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Stay out of the heat as much as possible
  3. Keep your space cool with circulating air
  4. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and protect yourself from sun damage
  5. Rest often and save strenuous activities for the cooler parts of the day
  6. Monitor for signs of heat-related illness and act promptly
  7. Check on others, especially those who are older, sick, or frail.
  8. Babies and young children are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat, as they can’t adapt easily to changing temperatures. Take extra steps to care for young children during hot weather, and never leave anyone (including pets) unattended in a car.

What is the Difference between Heat exhaustion and Heat Stroke?

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses excessive amounts of water and salt, typically from sweating due to exposure to extreme heat or summer heatwaves. It is a likely event when a person’s body temperature rises above 37° C — the body’s normal operating temperature is 36°–37° C. When Heat exhaustion is not managed properly this will lead to heatstroke.

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when your body is unable to control its internal temperature. The lethal hazard of heat stroke becomes present when the body temperature exceeds 40 °C.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of these two conditions could save your life or that of a loved one.

First Aid for Heatstroke

Heat stroke occurs generally when the body temperature has reached 40 degrees or above. In this situation, it is necessary to perform first aid quickly to prevent complications of other body organs which may lead to unconsciousness and death. The aim of administering first aid treatment is to rapidly cool down core body temperature while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

  1. Follow DRS ABCD
  2. Call 000 – Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If someone has heatstroke call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance
  3. Remove from the heat source – remove the casualty from exposure to extreme heat to a shadier and/or cooler place
  4. Follow the steps for Lowering Body Temperature:
    – Removing excess clothing
    – Sponging or spraying them with water and fanning the damp skin
    – Immersing them in cool water
    – Placing cold packs under their armpits or groin, or on the back of their neck
  5. If unconscious, place them in the recovery position – for unconscious casualties, place them on their side with their mouth down (to drain any fluid) and the chin up to prevent possible suffocation.
    I
    f conscious, give the person sips of cool fluid if possible.
  6. Do not give aspirin or paracetamol to someone with heatstroke, this may make things worse.

 Complications of Heatstroke

 Heatstroke can result in a number of complications, depending on how long the body temperature is high. Severe complications include:

 Vital Organ Damage

 Without a quick response to lower body temperature, heatstroke can cause your brain or other vital organs to swell, possibly resulting in permanent damage.

 Death

 Without prompt and adequate treatment, heatstroke can be fatal.

First Aid Tips for Heat Exhaustion:

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Stay out of the heat as much as possible
  3. Keep your space cool with circulating air
  4. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and protect yourself from sun damage
  5. Rest often and save strenuous activities for the cooler parts of the day
  6. Monitor for signs of heat-related illness and act promptly
  7. Check on others, especially those who are older, sick, or frail.
  8. Babies and young children are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat, as they can’t adapt easily to changing temperatures. Take extra steps to care for young children during hot weather, and never leave anyone (including pets) unattended in a car.

If heat exhaustion is not managed well, this may lead to heatstroke. Remember the first aid tips for heatstroke.

Tips To Prevent Heat Stroke:

  1. Follow DRS ABCD
  2. Call 000 – Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If someone has heatstroke call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance
  3. Remove from the heat source – remove the casualty from exposure to extreme heat to a shadier and/or cooler place
  4. Follow the steps for Lowering Body Temperature:
    – Removing excess clothing
    – Sponging or spraying them with water and fanning the damp skin
    – Immersing them in cool water
    -Placing cold packs under their armpits or groin, or on the back of their neck
  5. If unconscious, place them in the recovery position – for unconscious casualties, place them on their side with their mouth down (to drain any fluid) and the chin up to prevent possible suffocation.
    If conscious, give the person sips of cool fluid if possible.
  6. Do not give aspirin or paracetamol to someone with heatstroke, this may make things worse.

Conclusion

Early prevention and detection of early signs of heat-related illness caused by heatwaves can reduce the health risks and even prevent death.

You must always remember that there’s a difference in signs and symptoms and first aid management between heat exhaustion and heat stroke in order to give correct assistance to the patient.

Learning the basics of first aid treatment for heatstroke and other heat-related illness is very vital and could save lives. It is beneficial to learn the first aid practices by enrolling in basic first aid courses available at CPR First Aid Training Center in Brisbane

What are you waiting for? You may contact us on this website or visit us at CPR First Aid Training Center in Brisbane. We hope to see you there.

Subscribe now & receive Exclusive DISCOUNTS on your booking!