Heatstroke is a pathological reaction of the body to overheating. Occurs when there is a violation of body heat transfer, too high air temperature, high humidity.
The main methods of physiological cooling of the body:
- expansion of peripheral vessels, redistribution of blood in the body (blood outflow to the skin, as a result, its thermal conductivity increases by 6 times);
- increased sweating (water in the composition of sweat, having a high heat of evaporation, significantly cools the skin)
Heatstroke often develops at elevated ambient temperatures. However, the development of thermal shock is also possible at normal ambient temperatures. This situation occurs when too warm clothing, impaired sweating (dehydration, tight clothing, diseases of the endocrine and nervous system), and increased air humidity prevent the decrease in heat transfer. Various conditions of the body also contribute to overheating of the body: obesity, smoking, alcohol intoxication, diseases of the central nervous system, endocrine glands, taking certain medications.
Overheating is especially difficult for people with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, lungs, children and the elderly.
Clinical manifestations of heat stroke:
Heat stroke is dangerous because of its abrupt onset and rapid development. According to the severity of the flow, three forms of heat stroke are distinguished:
Light form characterized by lethargy, weakness, apathy, headache and nausea. Body temperature increased slightly. There is a moderate increase in heart rate and respiration. The victim’s skin is of normal color. The condition is easily reversible with timely assistance.
Moderate form leads to severe weakness, inactivity, drowsiness. The headache is more intense, nausea is present, vomiting is possible, which does not bring relief. At this stage, the victim may have clouded consciousness, he does not answer questions well, and is discoordinated. Body temperature rises to 39-40 degrees Celsius. There is profuse sweat, the skin is hyperemic, hot to the touch.
Severe form dangerous violation of consciousness up to coma, convulsions, hallucinations. Body temperature up to 42 degrees and above. The skin is hot and dry. There is no perspiration. The pulse quickens to 140 beats per minute, weak filling, arrhythmia may develop. The consequences of this form are very severe: mortality reaches 20-30%.
With a mild form of heat stroke, it is enough to ensure adequate cooling of the body: remove a person from a stuffy room, if necessary, undress, drink, wipe with a wet towel.
In more severe manifestations of heat stroke, you need to call an ambulance. Before the arrival of the doctor, lay the victim down and take measures to cool him down. A person is undressed, wiped with water at room temperature, you can take a cool bath (18-20 degrees Celsius), you can apply ice to the inguinal and axillary areas, on the forehead and back of the head. It is necessary to drink the victim.
Prevention of heat stroke
During hot weather, avoid wearing tight, synthetic clothing that retards perspiration whenever possible. Preference should be given to products made from natural fibers and viscose in light shades. At high air temperatures, do not restrict liquid. Try to avoid being outside during the hottest hours. In stuffy rooms it is necessary to install fans, air conditioners and showers.