A Sunstroke is an acute, life-threatening
condition in which the body's heat-regulating system fails, due to
prolonged exposure to high temperatures, excessive production of heat
or commonly a combination of the two. The body is unable to lose heat
adequately in order to return to its normal temperature. Body
temperature rises to very high levels, which can damage major organs.
It can be further preceded if the body is exposed to heat exhaustion or
continuous strenuous activity.
Sunstroke occurs when body's thermostat cannot keep body cool. Body
relies on water evaporation to stay cool. As temperature rises, body
starts reacting by sweating. When this sweat evaporates, it cools body.
The amount of moisture in the air (humidity) determines how readily
sweat evaporates. In very dry air, sweat evaporates easily, quickly
cooling your body; but in very humid air, sweat does not evaporate. It
may collect on the skin or run off body without affecting body's
People particularly susceptible to sunstroke are young children, the
elderly, individuals not used to physical activity and concomitant
excessive sun exposure (such as overseas visitors walking in the
mountains in Africa), people suffering from certain chronic medical
conditions, and those involved in certain sporting activities. Skin
disorders such as scleroderma can interfere with ability to sweat.
Dehydrating medications; for example, the diuretics furosemide (Lasix)
or hydrochlorothiaszide (Esidrix) make less water available in the body
for sweat, thereby crippling body's cooling system.
- Severe headache
- Hot, dry skin without sweat
- High pulse rate
- High body temperature
- Slurred speech or hallucinations
- Hyperventilation( rapid and shallow breathing)
- Muscle cramps
1.History of the patient including all symptoms
3.Blood pressure measurement
If someone shows the signs of sunstroke, seek medical treatment
immediately. Before medical treatment arrives, move the individual to a
The primary treatment goal is to lower the elevated body temperature as
quickly as possible.
Remove the person's clothing and immerse the body in a cold water bath.
If this is not possible, cover the body with a wet sheet or towels,
sponge down the body with cool water or rub the limbs with ice-cubes.
Place ice packs (if available) at the neck, armpits and groin. Fan the
person with a newspaper, towel or electric fan to increase air flow and
Elevate the feet to direct blood back toward the head.
While cooling the body down, take the person's temperature rectally
every 10 minutes and do not allow it to fall below 38.5ºC. Only immerse
the person in a cold bath until their temperature falls to 39.4ºC.
Resume cooling if the body starts to heat up again.
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and sunstroke. avoid
strenuous activity during hot weather. In addition, avoid drinking
caffeinated beverages to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated.
The following measures can help prevent problems relating to heart and
1. Drink plenty of water in hot environment and do not wait to feel
thirsty to drink.
2. Drink water before, during and after exercising
3. Rest during the hottest part of the day.
4. Wear light coloured, light weighted and loose fitted clothes in hot
weather. Cotton is
the best garment as it allows
more air to pass.
5. Try to make exposure to the sun limited.
6. Wear a hat or cap, preferably one with a wide brim, especially if
working in the sun
because the head is
particularly sensitive part to heat.
7. Open windows, or use a fan to improve indoor air circulation. Eat
light, small meals,
and limit alcohol intake in hot weather.
Avoid alcohol before, during, and immediately
after exercise. Alcohol causes to lose
more fluid than you consume.
8. Limit vigorous and strenuous activity during hot or humid weather,
the middle of the day.
Role of homoeopathy
After providing first aid, which is very essential, the victim
can be treated with homeopathic drugs to reduce the effects caused or
to even recover faster.
The prognosis depends on the severity of the condition.
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