1. What happens to the body as a result of exposure to extreme heat?

Exposure to extreme heat results in hyperthermia – elevation of core body temperature above the normal diurnal range of 36 to 37.5ºC – due to failure of thermoregulation. Hyperthermia is not synonymous with the more common sign of fever, which is induced by cytokine activation during inflammation, and regulated at the level of the hypothalamus. A temperature above 40ºC (or 104ºF) is generally considered to be consistent with severe hyperthermia.

The body maintains the temperature by balancing heat dissipation with heat load. The body’s heat load results from both metabolic processes and absorption of heat from the environment. As core temperature rises, the preoptic nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus stimulates efferent fibers of the autonomic nervous system to produce sweating and cutaneous vasodilation.

In a hot environment, the body loses heat mainly via evaporation; but this becomes ineffective above a relative humidity of 75%. When environmental temperature exceeds skin temperature, then the other major methods of heat dissipation—radiation (emission of infrared electromagnetic energy), conduction (direct transfer of heat to an adjacent, cooler object), and convection (direct transfer of heat to convective air currents)—cannot efficiently transfer heat.

2. What should I do if I see someone with any of the warning signs of heat stroke?

The management of nonexertional (classic) heat stroke involves ensuring adequate airway protection, breathing, and circulation; rapid cooling and treatment of complications. It is mandatory to continuously monitor core temperature with a rectal or esophageal probe. Once a temperature of 38 to 39ºC (100.4 to 102.2ºF) has been achieved, then cooling measures should be stopped to reduce the risk of iatrogenic hypothermia.

3. What should I do if I work in a hot environment?

Ensure adequate fluid intake and frequent lemon water sugar salt drinks. All summer natural drinks are okay.

4. What is the best clothing for hot weather or a heat wave?

Wear loose cotton clothes.

5. How can people protect their health when the environmental temperatures are extremely high?
Avoid direct sun exposure
Take plenty of fluids
Use umbrella
6. What steps can be taken to cool the body during heat exhaustion?

Evaporative cooling is the method used most often to treat classic heat stroke and heat exhaustion because it is effective, noninvasive, easily performed, and does not interfere with other aspects of patient care.
With evaporative cooling, the naked patient is sprayed with a mist of lukewarm water while fans are used to blow air over the moist skin.

Other effective cooling methods are less commonly used in patients with classic heat stroke. Immersing the patient in ice water (cold water immersion) is an efficient, noninvasive method of rapid cooling but it complicates monitoring and intravenous access, and may be harmful to the elderly.

An alternative method that allows greater access to the patient is water ice therapy (WIT), in which the patient is placed supine on a porous stretcher positioned on top of a tub of ice water. Medical personnel continuously pour ice water from the bath onto the patient and massage major muscle groups with ice packs to increase skin vasodilation.

Applying ice packs to the axillae, neck and groin (areas adjacent to major blood vessels) is another effective cooling technique, but may be poorly tolerated by the awake patient.

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