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Heatroke: What Is It?

What is heatstroke?
It is a life-threatening condition, also called heat hyperpyrexia, in which overexposure to extreme heat and a consequent breakdown of body’s heat regulating mechanisms cause the body to become dangerously overheat.

Heatstroke occurs when your core body temperature rises above 104°F (40°C) while you also experience profound changes in brain function — “alterations in consciousness or mental status,” said Dr. Corey Slovis, a professor and chair of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In some cases, body temperature may reach 41.5°C or more. Without emergency treatment, the victim may lapse into coma and death soon follows.

“When temperatures rise inside the body, your cells become deranged and chaotic,” said Craig Crandall, a professor of Internal Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

What cause it?
° Heatstroke is commonly brought on by prolonged exposure to the sun in a hot climate.
° It can also be caused by working in an extremely hot environment.
° Poor health
° Overstrenous activities
° Unsuitable clothing

What are the symptoms?
Profuse sweating
Skin becomes dry, and flushed
Shallow breathing
Rapid but weak pulse.

How to treat
• If heatstroke develops, emergency medical help should be summoned immediately.
• Before arrival, victim should be wrapped naked in a cold, wet sheet, which should then be kept wet.
• Cooling should be increased by fanning.
• Treatment should continue until the victim’s temperature falls below 38°C.

If treated early, victim may have full recovery. But, may be at risk of reoccurrence.

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You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

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The Author


Sunday Dapo OBEMBE is a Nurse, Blogger, and a writer. He owns MULTI-LOADED EMPIRE. Knowledge of health is wealth.

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