Heat Stroke or Sun Stroke & how to protect ourselves

Sun Stroke or heat stroke may occur due to exposure in the scorching heat.

From late April till the end of June Dry hot weather persist normally in Pakistan and also in most of the areas of India too. Most of the areas of Indo-Pakistan region during summer the temperature roses between 33-38°C and also reaches 40°C above.

In certain areas of the region and in certain days of hot summer season, mercury may touch the range between 45 to 52 °C.

heat stroke in karachi how to protect

Now when this article will be publish it is first week of May which brings hot weather and we are entering into the month where extremely hot weather will persist due to hot sun during the month of May & June which normally every year observe in our region.

This bright sun shine may also persist with humidity during monsoon season, this normally last from start of July till mid of September each year.

Heatstroke occurs because the body expose to overheating in scorching heat due to sun.

Usually this condition may arise due to exposure of our body for longer period or also due to physical activities perform in high temperature.

Sun or Heatstroke is term used as serious form of injury due to heat stroke.

The body temperature rises above 103°F or approaching above 40°C in term of centigrade.

Our normal body temperature is 98.6°F or 37°C.

If heatstroke is not treated immediately this may lead to damage the vital organs of the body such as brain, heart, kidneys, respiratory distress and muscles weakness.

If immediate attention, treatment and first aid are not provided properly it may lead to death of individual.

What we should do immediately if we come across a victim of heat stroke:

  • Immediately move patient in shade and cooler place.
  • Please let him in shade and loosen his / her cloth.
  • Call ambulance immediately because it emergency of very serious nature. We need to shift the patient to the hospital urgently, beside do the best effort to stabilize patient and provide him/her the needed first aid.
  • In the meantime ambulance arrives do apply wet clothes to the body as much as possible to cool the person with whatever means available, please place in a cool tub of water or give a cool shower. The objective is to bring down body temperature which will be 104°F and more at this time.
  • If patient is vomiting please call doctor immediately to manage this condition> If vomiting persist it will lead to further dehydration this will further disturb electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Please avoid rush like situation provide ample open and cool space to breath him/her with ease.

drinking water to prevent dehydration due to heat stroke in pakistan

It is strongly recommended heatstroke condition to be treated immediately and refer as an emergency condition.

Very sad incidence happened last year in Karachi during the third week of June 2015 (also it was month of Holy Ramadan) more than1500 death were reported due to Sun stroke.

We all have to learn from last year tragedy in Karachi and interior Sindh which happened due to Heat Stroke in the month of June 2015.

Temperature recorded last year during 3rd week of June 2015 in Pakistan.

Karachi 45 °C (113 °F)

Turbat 49 °C (120 °F)

Larkana 49 °C (120 °F)

Dadu 44 °C

Rahim Yar Khan 43 °C (109 °F)

Hyderabad 42 °C

Nawabshah 41 °C

Multan 40 °C (104 °F)

During 2-3rd week of June 2015 heat wave were recorded in southern part of Pakistan. This has affected mainly Karachi the financial hub of Pakistan and its surrounding areas.

The heat stroke has killed nearly 2,000 people with in this spell of two weeks.  In Karachi only 1500 death were recorded and 500 deaths also reported from interior of Sindh.

Victims were mainly elderly / aged people due to dehydration, diarrhea and heat stroke. The heat wave spell persisted for a weeks from 18 -23 June and it was also the holy month of Ramadan last year.

In Karachi last year temperature recordwas 45°C on 20th June; this is the highest since 1979.  In India last year during month of May 2015 high temperature (Sun Stroke) recorded above 40°C and due to it 2500 death were reported.

 Heat stroke and its sign and symptoms

heat stroke in karachi how to protect just water

The heat stroke can be recognized, the sufferer is fainted and having temperature above 104°F as in first stage .Other symptoms can also be observe such as:

  • Headache of high intensity,
  • Feeling of dizziness
  • Despite heat stroke and high temperature no sweating observe,
  • Abnormal pulse and increase heartbeat.
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting,
  • Muscular dystrophy means muscular weakness or cramps due to loss of salt/water while sweating.in initial stage.
  • Respiratory distress that is difficulty in breathing is also observed.
  • Skin will be dry and it is like red hot patches.
  • Seizure and behavior changes also observed such as disorientation, utter confusion and staggering observation.

Who are at risk?

Heat stroke can affect anyone but certain factors may increase the chances.

It can easily affect the adults over the age of 65 and younger children.

The reason is older people with their age bracket of 65 and above their nervous system is deteriorating with the developing age.

In young children and toddlers (the toddler means 1-3 years age are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development). their nervous system is not fully developed.

In adult above 65 and in very young babies risk is higher because both of them have difficulty to remain hydrated.

Extensive physical activity in hot weather can cause sun stroke such as famers working in farm, vendors / hawkers selling goods in day time on push up carts, labor working in construction industry, children playing in school and colleges in day time, military training and sports activity such as playing hockey, cricket, football and doing athletics

If someone suffering from chronic illness such heart and lung, chances are more likely to have heatstroke if expose in sun during these months especially because of intense heat and rise in temperature.

This article is written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan.

About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience
More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sector

Director & General Manager
Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan
March 2011 – till to date
I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.

General Manager
Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn
December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan
Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.

General Manager
Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson)
February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)

Education
MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University
MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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3 comments

  1. I was waiting for this kind of topic. Thank you very much for the post.

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