Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hottest day of the year in Metro Manila recorded today: Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Just today, this afternoon, I was asking my sister if it was really hot, even we were inside our house because I was just feeling hot.  And, she said, it was just the same as the past few days temperature for her.  I assumed it was just me...  So, I stayed the whole afternoon in my room with full blast of A/C.  Even my dog accompanied me in my room.  We slept the whole afternoon and woke up by past 7pm.  LOL.

After waking up, I opened the TV and watched some local news.  And, that's the time I knew that this afternoon was the hottest temperature in Metro Manila according to PAGASA for this year.  The temperature was a scorching hot of 35.9 degress celcius.  

In this kind of temperature, many people are prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion.  Typically, heat exhaustion can be experienced by many, especially who doesn't have A/C at home or those people walking or staying under the heat of the sun.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body temperature increased to between 37 to 40 degrees Celsius.  That's the time when the levels of water and salt in the body begin to fall, which can cause a person to feel sick, faint and sweat heavily.  This should be treated immediately by placing the person in a cool place, give cool (not icy) water to drink, and removed some excess clothing.  If heat exhaustion will not be treated earlier, it will lead to heat stroke.

Heat stroke is when the core temperature of the body reaches above 40 degrees Celcius that's when the cells inside our body begins to break down and important parts of the body stop working.  Heat stroke in the other hand is an emergency medical situation because of life-threatening condition.  He will experience loss of consciousness, mental confusion and hyperventilation.  The person should be immediately sent in the ER.  While waiting for the ambulance or while transporting the affected person, be sure to make him cool by fanning, removed excess clothing and if conscious, by giving cool drinks.  If this will be left untreated, organ failure and brain damage will occur.

Who are at risk?
-  Health conditions with chronic illnesses of the heart or lungs.
-  Overweight or having difficulty moving or lack of physical fitness
-  young children (ages below 4years old)
-  elderly (ages over 65years old)
              Central Nervous System (CNS) of young kids are not yet fully developed while on the elderly is deteriorating.  In this, which makes their body less to cope with changes of their body temperature.  Both age groups usually have difficulty remaining hydrated, so increases their risks.

  • Be sure to stay out of the sun during the hottest time of the day.  If it can't be prevented, be sure to bring an umbrella or always walk in shaded areas.
  • When parking, parked in a shaded part or if can't be prevented, don't stay there or leave anyone inside.
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion.
  • Cold or cool drinks should be easily available, but avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol.
  • Eat fruit with a high water content.
  • When feeling hot, take a shower.
  • Sprinkle water over your skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
  • Keep your environment cool.

Here in the Philippines, it's always fun especially in summer days.  We, Filipinos know how to handle extreme heat of the sun.  By going to beaches if out of town;  Window shopping in the mall, just to cool us up by the mall's A/C;  Having halo-halo, which can be found anywhere even on the streets;  Taking shower 3 times a day;  Children making their version of swimming pool by being resourceful.

Just a friendly reminder...  Let's just be cautious of the heat of the sun eventhough summer is full of FUN.  ;)

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