NODA Area Agency on Aging
2901 North Van Buren, Enid, OK 73703
580-237-2236 or 800-749-1149
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Caregiver Assistance News
"CARINA FOR YOU... CARINA FOR OTHERS"
Exposure to Extreme Heat
Is it Getting Hotter or What!
Dehydration and heat stroke are
common heat-related diseases that can
be life-threatening if left untreated.
Heat-related illness occurs when
the body's temperature control system
is overloaded. The body normally cools
itself by sweating. But under some
conditions, sweating isn't enough and
a person's body temperature rises
rapidly. Very high body temperatures
may damage the brain or other vital
organs. When both the temperature
and humidity are high, sweat will not
evaporate as quickly, preventing the
body from releasing heat quickly. Old
age, youth (age 0-4), obesity, fever,
dehydration, heart disease, mental
illness, poor circulation, sunburn and
prescription drug and alcohol use are
other risk factors for heat-related
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Heat stroke is the most serious
heat-related illness. When the body
is unable to control its temperature,
it rises rapidly and sweating mechanisms fail. Body temperature may
rise to 106°F or higher within 10-15
minutes. Heat stroke can cause death
or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.
Heat exhaustion is less severe, more
common, and occurs when the body
becomes severely dehydrated. If left
untreated, it leads to heat stroke.
Signs of Heat Stroke
** Extremely high body temperature
«~ Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
«~ Rapid, strong pulse
** Throbbing headache
These are signs of a
life-threatening emergency. Have someone
call 911 while you begin
cooling the person:
•* Get him to a shady area.
** Cool him rapidly, however you
can: Immerse him in a cool tub of
water or shower; spray him with
cool water from a garden hose;
sponge him with cool water; or, if
the humidity is low, wrap him in a
cool, wet sheet and fan him vigorously.
** Monitor body temperature; continue cooling efforts until body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
••* If emergency medical personnel
are delayed, call the ER for further
** If he is conscious and able to swallow, give cool water or other nonalcoholic, decaffeinated beverages.