Heat Stroke Symptoms and How to Prevent Them

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Learn How to Identify Heat Stroke Symptoms, How to Prevent Heat Stroke, and How to Treat Heat Stroke.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can happen to anyone at any age. As Qatar’s hot months started, temperatures reach above 45 degrees Celcius plus the humidity during the summer season. heat-related illness (heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke) is some of the main concerns of Qatar for those who work outdoor during the hottest months.

This article will explain what heat stroke is, what causes it, and what signs and symptoms to look for.

Summer outdoors work restriction in Qatar

On June 01, 2022 working outdoor is prohibited, The Qatar government implemented a “No Work outdoor and shaded places not equipped with proper ventilation between 10:00 in the morning to 03:30 in the afternoon”, Until September 15 this year.

What is heat stroke?

A Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself and body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Heat stroke can be life-threatening. Symptoms of heat stroke include a high body temperature, rapid breathing, lack of sweating, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and unconsciousness. If you suspect that you or someone else has a heat stroke, call 999 (Qatar’s emergency hotline) immediately.

If you have been in Qatar for any length of time, you have probably seen or read at least one heat stroke case. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. It is an extremely dangerous condition that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stress is caused by excessive heat and dehydration. In order to prevent heat stroke, it is important to stay hydrated and cool down your body as quickly as possible.

How Do I Recognize Heat Stroke?

If you find yourself with a headache or dizziness, or if your body feels hot and uncomfortable, you may have a heat stroke. The good news is that most people who develop heat stroke will have warning signs. You can recognize the early symptoms of heat stroke by paying attention to your own body. If you think you may be or your colleagues developing heat stroke, here are some signs to watch for:

Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  1. Fever (body temperature 40°C and above)
  2. Sweating
  3. Nausea
  4. Weakness
  5. Fainting
  6. Hot and dry skin
  7. Headache
  8. Rapid pulse
  9. Red eyes
  10. Irritability
  11. Shivering
  12. Confusion or drowsiness

What are the mild symptoms of heat stroke?

The best thing to know about the early signs of heat stroke is to closely watch out and listen to your body. Your body will give you a signal that you are developing heat stroke and it will start by feeling mild heat stroke symptoms. such as:

  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red hot and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • fainting

How to treat heat stroke immediately?

If you suspect or see the signs of heat stroke symptoms immediately call 999 (Qatar’s emergency hotline) then move the person out of heat exposure if he/she is exposed to direct heat. Cool him down by placing the person in a place where there is proper cooling ventilation. if the person is conscious, offer him chilled water or cold sports drinks (beverage containing electrolytes is much better) or other non-alcoholic beverages without caffeine.

heat stroke treatment
Heat Stroke Treatment

additionally, Loosen the person’s clothes if you find him wearing heavy and tight clothing to release heat from his body and pass air freely under his clothes.

Here are some other ways to treat a person:

  • Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower.
  • Spray with a garden hose.
  • Sponge with cool water.
  • Fan while misting with cool water.
  • Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits, and groin.
  • Cover with cool damp sheets.

Moreover, one of the best proactive ways to practice treating heat stress and heat stroke is by giving knowledge to people especially those who are engaged in heavy work (see below, where does heat stress occur in workplaces) before they conduct their jobs (toolbox talks, meetings, safety awareness related to working in hot weather conditions).

Where does heat stroke or heat stress occur?

If your job involves heavy physical work in a hot, humid environment, it can cause significant heat stress to your body. Heavy work in hot, humid conditions can be extremely damaging to workers’ health. Warm and humid conditions can occur both indoors and outdoors.

Let’s have a look at where heat stress in workplaces may occur:

OutdoorsIndoors
Home BuildingGeneration plants
Works on bridgesOil and chemical refineries
Road building or constructionSteel mills and foundries
Electrical utilitiesPulp and paper mills
TrenchingSmelters
Excavation and gradingPetrochemical plants
Working on flat or shingle roofsInterior construction and renovation
Pouring concrete or spreading tar and asphaltBoiler rooms
Electrical vaults
Furnace operations
Source: Moph

The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar published guidelines and awareness about heat stress that you can download here.

How to Avoid Heat stroke and its symptoms in Qatar?

You can avoid heat stress or heat stroke if you are properly aware of the problem that causes this heat illness by following this method you can proactively minimize the risk of having a heat stroke:

  1. Avoid working long hours outdoors during the summer season.
  2. Keep dehydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  3. Monitor the color of your urine (check out the image below – dehydration infographic).
  4. Wear light and cotton clothes and avoid those clothes in dark colors.
  5. Make sure to rest in a well-ventilated area air-conditioned in a time interval during working hours.
  6. Avoid intake of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks
  7. Eat healthy foods and make sure that have a good night’s sleep
Urine color chart
Dehydration infographic (Urine color chart)

What is the difference between heat stress or heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Heat stress or heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions. The symptoms of Heat exhaustion begin with general muscle weakness, sudden excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, and possible fainting. A heat stroke is when your body’s internal temperature reaches over 40 degrees Celcius.

How long does it take to recover from heat exhaustion?

Initial recovery takes about 1-2 days in the hospital; longer if organ damage is detected. Experts suggest that complete recovery from heat stroke and its effects on the internal organs may take 2 months to a year. However, the projection rapidly declines as complications increase.

Read more on how long does heat stroke last?

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention immediately. It’s also important to know that heat stroke is preventable and there are ways to avoid it. If you are working in a hot environment, be sure to drink plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.

find out in this article how to be fit and healthy while living in Qatar

FAQ

What is heat stroke or heat stress?

  • Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself and body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Heat stroke is caused by excessive heat and dehydration. In order to prevent heat stroke, it is important to stay hydrated and cool down your body as quickly as possible.

How long does heat stroke last for?

  • it will take 1-2 days is the initial recovery, and longer if there is organ damaged


What are the first signs of heat exhaustion symptoms?

  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red hot and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • fainting


How do you treat heat stroke symptoms at home?

You can treat heat stroke at home if you found or suspect someone having heat stroke symptoms or heat stress by immediately calling your local emergency hotline (999 if you’re residing in Qatar). otherwise, follow the action below:

  • Put the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower.
  • Spray with a garden hose.
  • Sponge with cool water.
  • Fan while misting with cool water.
  • Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits, and groin.
  • Cover with cool damp sheets.

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