Patient's Complete Guide to Sunstroke

Overview of Sunstroke

Sunstroke (لو/Luu) is a condition in which body temperature is increased above the normal 97-99 °F. It can be caused by long-term exposure or vigorous physical activity in hot weather.
This condition can lead to more serious problems such as damage to internal organs or death if proper treatment is not provided. The condition most commonly occurs in hot climates.
Sunstroke treatment centres are available for the treatment of Sunstroke. In these centres, special treatments are provided to lower the body temperature or damage sense organs.

Signs and Symptoms of Sunstroke

Some common signs and symptoms of sunstroke may include:

  • High body temperature
  • Altered mental ffwou7kstate or behaviour
  • Alteration in sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Headache

Causes of Sunstroke

Following are some factors that can cause sunstroke, such as:

  • Long-term Exposure to Heat: Prolonged stay in a hot and humid environment can increase the body temperature. This causes non-exertional sunstroke. Often adults and people with long-term diseases are affected by this condition.
  • Physical Exertion: Exertional sunstroke is a type of sunstroke that occurs as a result of vigorous physical activity in a high-temperature environment. This causes an increase in body temperature above normal. Usually, people work or exercise in hot environments affected by this condition.

Risk Factors of Sunstroke

There are some factors that increase the risk of sunstroke, such as:

  • Age: A body’s ability to tolerate high temperatures depends on the central nervous system. In babies and older adults, this system is usually not able to withstand extreme temperatures. Therefore, both of these age groups are at high risk of developing sunstroke.
  • Vigorous Physical Activity in Hot Weather: Certain activities in hot environments can increase the chances of sunstroke. People participating in military training or athletes often are at high risk.
  • Sudden Exposure to High Temperature: Sudden exposure to high temperature can be a contributing factor in the onset of sunstroke. For example, if you travel to a hot climate. It can be prevented by limiting outdoor activities for a time being.
  • Certain Medications: Some medicines can affect the body’s ability to stay hydrated. These drugs usually include:
  • Vasoconstrictors-narrow the blood vessels
  • Antidepressants or antipsychotics-solve psychiatric issues
  • Beta-blockers block adrenaline to balance the blood pressure
  • Stimulants-for hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Diuretics-improve the excretory system
  • Stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine
  • Certain Medical Problems: Some diseases can make people more susceptible to sunstroke. These may include:
  • Heart or lung problems
  • Obesity
  • History of the previous sunstroke

Health-Related Complications of Sunstroke

Sunstroke can lead to some severe health complications based on the duration of exposure to high temperatures.

  • Vital Organ Damage: If the body temperature is not immediately cooled down it can cause swelling as well as permanent damage to sensitive organs, such as the brain.
  • Death: If proper treatment is not provided sunstroke can cause death.

Prevention

Sunstroke can be prevented by following some precautions, such as:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Protect against sunburn.
  • Avoid prolonged stay in a parked car.
  • Take extra precautions with certain medications.
  • Get acclimated.
  • Avoid vigorous activities during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Be wary if your risks are higher.

Diagnosis

Although sunstroke can be diagnosed by physical symptoms, laboratory tests can confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • Blood Tests: Blood tests are performed to check if the central nervous system is damaged. These tests check the level of sodium, potassium and some gases in the blood
  • Rectal Temperature: Rectal temperature is checked to determine the normal body temperature. Rectal temperature is more precise than the temperature of the mouth or forehead.
  • A Urine Test: In this test, the colour of the urine is checked. Because dark colour urine is the indication of heat-related illnesses that may show kidney damage.
  • Muscle Function Tests: These tests are performed if the doctor suspected muscle damage-a condition known as rhabdomyolysis.
  • Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as X-Rays are performed to check the damage of internal organs due to sunstroke.

Treatment of Sunstroke | When to Consult a Doctor

Treatment of sunstroke can be done in various ways. Let’s have a look at them.

Home Remedies

Sunstroke is a medical emergency condition. However, if the symptoms are less severe, they can be relieved by home remedies, such as:

  • Try to stay in an air-conditioned place for a few hours after a sunstroke to reduce the temperature.
  • Ask someone to put damp sheets on you or fan you. Use the same remedies if you are with someone experiencing sunstroke.
  • Take a cool bath. If you are away from home, soak in a cool pond or other clean water reservoirs.
  • Frequently rehydrate yourself.
  • Avoid sugar-containing fluids and alcohol.

Sunstroke treatment centres are available. In these centres, special treatments are provided to lower the body temperature or damage sense organs. These treatments include:

  • Cold Water Bath: Coldwater bath is considered the best approach to lower body temperature. In this way, the body's temperature is quickly lowered to a normal level. Immediate treatment can prevent organ damage and death.
  • Evaporation Cooling Techniques: This treatment approach is used if a cold water bath is not available. Coldwater is applied to the body followed by fanning with warm air. This facilitates the evaporation that lowered the core body temperature.
  • Packing with Ice and Cooling Blankets: In this procedure, the patient is wrapped in a special blanket that provides cooling. Ice packs are used to lower the temperature of particular body parts such as the neck, back and armpits.
  • Medications: Shivering can increase the temperature. Therefore, medicines such as benzodiazepine are given to prevent shivering after cooling treatments.

Sunstroke is an emergency situation, consult the doctor as soon as possible.

Call for assistance
042 32500989