Climate change is normal but extreme heatwaves can impact and affect your health in many ways. Scientists say that “the future is extreme heat” and many of us are not taking this issue seriously. Extreme heat conditions are just a threat for the public but for elders it can be life-threatening and can even lead to death. According to the climate report, nearly 12,000 Americans die annually from heat-related issues. Heatwaves affect elderly people and it can also lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke or sunstroke is caused when your body can’t manage its temperature.
What Is a Heat Wave?
A heatwave is nothing but a prolonged period of excessive heat or hot weather. A heatwave is defined as a period where the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more. Heatwaves typically last a day or two.
Recently, millions of residents in Washington reported a sudden rise in temperature. The temperature soared over 100° F and broke all previous records. During that period, emergency rooms overflowed with heat-related cases and the medical officer changed the normal clinic shifts to a regional disaster mode. Steve Mitchell, medical officer of the Emergency Department at Harbor Medical Center says that patients in the emergency departments mostly came with a heat stroke which is a rare event in our region. He also added that if the body temperature reaches 103º F or higher then it’s an emergency and the patients must visit a doctor immediately to bring down their temperature and to save their organs.
Statistics say that the majority of those who were admitted to the hospital were over 65 years. But researchers say it’s too early to tell the significant impact on society and heat wave-related deaths.
Symptoms of the Heatstroke
These are the heatstroke symptoms for the elderly
- Confused state
- Raise in pulse
- Change in behavior
- Loss of consciousness
- Change in skin (red, hot, or dry with no sweat)
- Body temperature at 103 degrees or more
Tips to Follow
If someone is suffering from heatstroke take them to the doctor but during unavoidable emergency situations do follow these steps.
- Remove their clothes, socks, and shoes.
- Cool them off by doing a cold compress on their entire body.
- Take them to a cool place and give them cool water. Ask them to sip the water at regular intervals.
- If the condition worsens, take them to the doctor right away.
Safety Measures for the Hot Weather
Be prepared to face the hot weather both mentally and physically by following the below-mentioned tips
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Stay indoors and avoid heat exposure
- Wear cotton clothes
- Eat healthy foods /fruits
- Check your temperature