Mumbai: Scorching Heat Turning Your Day Into Nightmare? Here's How You Can Cope With High Temperatures

Mumbai: Scorching Heat Turning Your Day Into Nightmare? Here's How You Can Cope With High Temperatures

Amid the rising mercury across Maharashtra, the state public health department has recorded 82 heat stroke cases in the last 46 days (from March 1 to April 15 this year). However last year 353 heat stroke cases were reported during the same period.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 12:55 PM IST
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Many cities across India, particularly Gujarat, Maharashtra, north Karnataka, Odisha, west Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, are expected to see harsh heatwaves in the coming days. While there is sufficient awareness about what should and should not be done in such a situation, however, a refresher on this matter is needed so that people do not fall prey to this condition.  

While the human body can tolerate some heat levels, extreme heat can be fatal, especially when not treated on time. This is especially true for vulnerable categories, including children, older adults, and those who already suffer from conditions like stroke, heart ailments, and respiratory problems. In some cases, the extreme temperature can also result in a ‘heat stroke,’ a severe condition in which the body temperature increases to more than 104F due to hot environmental conditions. As a result, the body cannot regulate its temperature, leading to increased temperature and failure to sweat, thereby not allowing it to cool down effectively. Common symptoms of heat stroke in an individual may include confusion, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Failure to treat such symptoms promptly within a defined timeframe could result in loss of life, or lifelong disability for the affected person.

How to prevent heat stroke?

Since heat stroke can occur to anyone, specific measures must be taken to prevent them as far as possible. Some of them include:

. Stay hydrated by carrying a bottle of water whenever leaving the house. You can substitute water with fresh juices and glucose water, if required

• Avoid alcoholic, hot, or sugary drinks, including tea and coffee, as they can worsen dehydration

• Consume seasonal fruits like Mangoes, Watermelons, Cucumbers, and green leafy veggies. They will help keep the body hydrated and provide the necessary vitamins and minerals. Better still, they are easy to digest and give a hydration boost

• If you have to step out during peak heat hours, carry an umbrella to shield yourself from the harsh rays of the sun

• Take a bath twice daily to reduce body temperature, especially after coming from outside. It is best to bathe with lukewarm water

What pointers must everyone keep in mind to prevent heat stroke? Given that heat-related issues can arise unexpectedly, it is crucial to remember the following guidelines to minimize and address the number of casualties associated with them:

• Keep contact numbers of doctors and civic authorities handy, in case of emergency

• Follow your doctor’s advice in case you suffer from any medical conditions

• Seek medical aid at your nearest hospital immediately if you feel unwell

• Do not step out in the afternoon sun, and wear lose cotton clothes (preferably in lighter colors) for maximum comfort

• After coming back home from outside, have a cold, refreshing drink – like lemonade, buttermilk, coconut water, or just plain water to rejuvenate your body

Some immediate measures that a person must

What are some immediate measures that a person must take after heat exposure? Upon heat exposure, it's crucial to prioritize immediate measures to prevent further discomfort or potential heat-related illnesses. These include relocating to a more relaxed environment, ensuring proper circulation by lying down with your legs elevated, removing excess clothing layers to promote heat dissipation, hydrating with fluids to replenish lost moisture, applying cool towels to the skin to lower body temperature, and maintaining a calm external environment to support the body's recovery process.

(Authored by Dr Sudhir Gore, Head- Trauma & Emergency Services, Fortis Hospital Kalyan)

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