Friday, June 13, 2008

Heat Injuries

With the recent intense heat and sunny afternoon, heat sickness might pose a life threatening illness. Heat sickness is a fast acting, dangerous killer. Heat sickness can be classify into 3 different illness, namely heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. While heat cramps can be uncomfortable, they are not life threatening. Heat stroke, on the other hand, needs immediate medical attention.

What is the causes of heat sickness?

Sweating is our body's main system for getting rid of extra heat produced in our body. When we sweat, and the water evaporates from our skin, the heat that evaporates from our skins. As long as blood is flowing properly to your skin, extra heat from our body is pumped to the skin and removed by sweat evaporation. If we do not sweat enough, the extra heat is unable to escape our body, and we also can't get rid of heat as well if blood is not flowing to the skin. Dehydration will make it harder for us to cool off, if we are dehydrated, we will not sweat as much, and our body will try to keep our blood away from the skin to keep our blood pressure at the right level in our body. But since we lose water when we sweat, we must make up the water to keep us hydrated. If the air is humid, it will be harder for our sweat to evaporated, this means that our body cannot get rid of the extra heat as well when it's muggy as it can when it's relatively dry.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are caused by muscle contractions in both the gastronomies or hamstring area. Feeling is like a severe muscle pull. heat cramps are forceful and painful. Heat cramps are associated with lack of fluids, high temperatures and lack of physical conditioning. Heat cramps are not life threatening but ignoring heat cramps can bring about the progression of other, more serious heat related illness. Heat cramps can be treated with water, cool air and rest.

Heat exhaustion

Severe exhaustion caused by extreme body heat. Excessive heat and dehydration can cause the body to overreact, thus raising our body temperature to over 100 degrees. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include palenes, nausea, extreme fatigue, dizziness, lightheaded, vomiting, fainting and cool,clammy skin. Heat Exhaustion is a serious illness and should be carefully monitored. Cool, shady environments, liquids, cool rags placed on various areas of the body and replacement of electrolytes are used to treat this condition. If body temperature remains elevated even after treatment, it's best to consult a doctor for further diagnostic.

Heat stroke (Hyperthermia)

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and is the most severe form of heat related illness. Rushing to the nearest hospital or clinic is the best solution for curing. Unlike other forms of heat illness, Heat stroke does not have to be caused by exercise or exertion. High temperatures, lack of body fluids and overexposure to the elements can all bring about heat stroke. The young and old are especially susceptible to the hazards of this heat illness.


Red, flushed skin, does not sweat, rapid pounding pulse and breathing, seizures, unconsciousness.

Prevention of Heat Stroke

It is possible to avoid suffering the ill effects of heat related disorders by taking athe few simple precautions.


The easiest way to avoid Heat Stroke is to keep our body well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water before, during and after exposure to the elements. Sport drinks are a good choice if exercising or working in hot conditions, but water works fine.


Staying in a place where there is plenty of airspace, which will help allow our body to naturally cool itself. Sitting in a shaded, wide open area will help our body to get rid of heat through sweating.


Light colored, loose fitting clothing will aid our body in breathing and cooling itself down naturally. Tight clothing restricts such a process and dark colours absorb the sun's light and heat. It's okay to war a hat to shield from the sun, but should remove any items that are covering our head once we feel warm.

Limit ourself

Don't over exert in the activity we're participating in during hot days. Heat Stroke can set in less than an hour. If you fell yourself getting warm of lightheaded, it's best to take a break.

Heat related illness are preventable. Like many other illness, it's easier to prevent than to treat it!

For more inform, visit wikipedia.

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