#BounceExclusive: You May Have Heat Stroke If...
John had collapsed in a train on his way back from work.
The train engine had packed up around Iju Ishaga area of Lagos State and the air condition system stopped working.
The passengers hesitated in opening the windows, hoping that the engine would come up as soon as possible.
John began to feel hot, like a goldsmith had set up his fire inside his body.
He has been busy all day engaging in his job without even considering a cup of water.
The weather was 37 Degrees Celsius and he was not aware of it. He does not pay attention to weather forecasts. All he knew was that the sun was hotter than usual.
But before he could figure out why he was feeling so hot, he was already on a hospital bed. He had suffered heat stroke.
In the last few days, the weather forecasts issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has shown signs of increasing temperatures.
Can Heat Stroke Kill?
Heat stroke is usually cause by the inability of the human body to regulate the generation of heat due to rising temperatures in the environment.
It can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs.
A Consultant Family Physician, Dr. Ademola Orolu, said dissipation of heat from the body is reduced when the available heat from the environment is high.
Although heat stroke is an extreme case, according to him, it is a gradual slide of the body from dehydration to the extreme dryness.
Dr Orolu said loss of fluid through the skin, especially if it is not replaced appropriately with intake of water, could be delicate at this period.
He stressed why you should make extra effort to replace lost fluid.
"Some persons may not tolerate the heat and it will lead to heat stroke.
"If the temperature gets too high and the body is not losing heat appropriately, a person can collapse because of the poor handling of temperature of the body," he said.
Some symptoms of heat stroke that are considered as medical emergencies are: headache, acting confused, nausea, seizures, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.
It usually occurs when the body temperature is above 40 Degree Celsius.
Is It Treatable?
Heat stroke is treatable, but Dr. Orolu stressed that it requires immediate medical attention, as it could be fatal if there is delay in administering treatment to reduce the body's temperature.
"If the dehydration is not corrected in time to bring body temperature back to normal with cool blanket, cascade of events may lead to death."
A few things to offer as first aid to anyone suffering heat stroke are;
1. Provide fan air over the patient and wet his or her skin with water from a blanket or garden hose.
2. Apply ice packs to the patient's armpits, groin, neck, and back. These areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin and cooling them may reduce body temperature.
3. Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water.
4. If the person is young and healthy and suffered heat stroke while exercising vigorously, what’s known as exertional heat stroke, you can use an ice bath to help cool the body.
DO NOT use ice for older patients, young children, patients with chronic illness, or anyone whose heat stroke occurred without vigorous exercise.
Doing so can be dangerous.