Hot Weather Hazard
Hot Weather Hazard for Older People
Warm weather and outdoor activity generally go hand in hand. However, it is important for older people to take action to avoid the severe health problems often caused by hot weather. "Hyperthermia " is the general name given to a variety of heat-related illnesses.
The two most common forms of hyperthermia are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Of the two, heat stroke is especially dangerous and requires immediate medical attention
Health and Lifestyle Risk Factors
The temperature does not have to hit 100°F for a person to be at risk. Both one's general health and/or lifestyle may increase a person's chance of suffering a heat-related illness.
Health factors which may increase risk include:
Lifestyle factors that can increase risk include:
How is hyperthermia treated?
Heat Exhaustion may be treated in several ways
How is Hyperthermia Detected?
It is important to recognize the difference between the very serious condition known as heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Persons experiencing any of these symptoms should consult a doctor.
Heat Stress occurs when a strain is placed on the body as a result of hot weather.
Heat fatigue is a feeling of weakness brought on by high outdoor temperature.
Symptoms include cool, moist skin and a weakened pulse. The person may feel faint.
Heat syncope is sudden dizziness experienced after exercising in the heat.
The skin appears pale and sweaty but is generally moist and cool. The pulse may be weakened, and the heart rate is usually rapid. Body temperature is normal.
Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs following strenuous activity.
The skin is usually moist and cool and the pulse is normal or slightly raised. Body temperature is mostly normal.
Heat cramps often are caused by a lack of salt in the body, but salt replacement should not be considered without advice from a physician.
Heat exhaustion is a warning that the body is getting too hot.
The person may be thirsty, giddy, weak, uncoordinated, nauseous, and sweating profusely. The body temperature is usually normal and the pulse is normal or raised. The skin is cold and clammy.
Although heat exhaustion often is caused by the body's loss of water and salt, salt supplements should only be taken with advice from a doctor.
Heat stroke can be LIFE-THREATENING! Victims of heat stroke almost always die so immediate medical attention is essential when problems first begin.
A person with heat stroke has a body temperature above 104°F. Other symptoms may include confusion, combativeness, bizarre behavior, faintness, staggering, strong rapid pulse, dry flushed skin, lack of sweating, possible delirium or coma.
Heat-related illnesses can become serious if preventative steps are not taken. It is important to realize that older people are at particular risk of hyperthermia.
Many people die of heat stroke each year; most are over 50 years of age. With good, sound judgment and knowledge of preventive measures most cases can be prevented and detected in time.
The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions
Copyright © 2004
Irene Nursing Home Pte Ltd