We know from childhood that it is not safe to be in the sun with your head uncovered during the midday summer hours. In order to get a sunstroke or "heliosis", it is enough to stay in the sun for half an hour. It does not matter if you are at rest or in the process of intensive work. In order for a sunstroke not to lead to serious consequences, it is necessary to provide a person with timely and high-quality first aid.
Affecting the brain, active solar heat provokes the expansion of the vessels of the head, which increases blood flow to this area and disrupts its outflow. Violation of the outflow of blood leads, in turn, to oxygen starvation (hypoxia) and cerebral edema. In severe forms, sunstroke can cause bursting of small vessels of the brain and, as a result, damage to the central nervous system, which, in turn, can lead to the development of paralysis and even death.
How can you "earn" sunstroke?
- The main causes of heliosis are prolonged exposure to the sun and high air temperature, which lead to disruption of the thermoregulation system. Some drugs that increase the body's sensitivity to heat can also create a "predisposition" to sunstroke. For example, the risk is increased with antihistamines for allergies and beta-blockers, which are used for hypertension.
- Often we either do not notice or do not attach importance to the first alarming signs that the body broadcasts to us: headache, weakness, drowsiness. On vacation, going on a long walking tour, be sure to take with you not only a hat, but also an umbrella, which will protect you from the scorching rays better than a hat. Be careful when playing sports: in the excitement of beach games, the symptoms of heliosis can also go unnoticed. In this case, the situation is aggravated by high physical activity. It is not uncommon for participants in various sports competitions to receive sunstroke right during outdoor performances - the reason for this is the active sun and overload on the body.
- The psycho-emotional state of a person can also become a provoking factor. If we are upset, stressed, or in a nervous, agitated state, we may be at risk. First of all, there are small children and the elderly. Secondly, people suffering from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, taking diuretics, people who are overweight. Tourists traveling to countries with a hot climate are also at risk - a sharp change in temperature weakens the human body, and it is more difficult for it to withstand various stresses. In the first days of your stay in a foreign country, it is better to spend more time in the shade. By the way, sunstroke can be included in the expanded list of insured events in your travel insurance policy, which means that the cost of emergency assistance will be covered by the insurer.
- It is difficult for a dehydrated body to resist the active rays of the sun, so it is especially important to maintain water balance in the heat. Natural teas, still mineral water will replenish fluid loss. More about what to drink in the heat.
- Forget hard physical labor in the sun. If this is not possible, try to create an artificial shade for yourself - protect yourself with a large beach umbrella. Be sure to splash or dry yourself with cold water.
- Sunbathe smartly. The best time for sunbathing is before 10 am and after 4 pm. At this time, the risk of getting sunstroke is minimal. However, if you feel even a slight malaise, it is better to stay at home until you are fully recovered. When the immune system is weakened, it is very difficult to resist external stimuli, so allow the body to "come to its senses" and do not overload it.
Move into the shade: symptoms of sunstroke
There are three degrees of negative effects of the sun on our body: mild, moderate, severe. A mild degree of damage is characterized by headache, dryness and redness of the skin, weakness, palpitations and pulling pains in the muscles. Usually these symptoms are mild, so this form of sunstroke is not always noticed. With a mild form of damage, the symptoms disappear fairly quickly, and severe consequences are extremely rare.
The average degree is characterized by nausea and vomiting, sometimes fainting. In this case, you need to call a doctor. If a sunstroke happened to people suffering from high blood pressure, anomalies of cerebral vessels, diabetes, a doctor's help is needed immediately.
If the temperature of the victim has risen to 40 degrees, and he is in a state of delirium, lethargy or agitation; if the pressure is reduced, the heart rhythm is disturbed, and convulsions appear - there is a severe form of sunstroke, and if help is not provided in time, a fatal outcome is possible.
Fresh air and cold compress
At the first sign of sunstroke, the victim must be moved to the shade and provide free access to oxygen. It is also recommended to remove excess clothing from him, relax the tightened belt, unbutton the collar. To avoid fainting, the victim should be laid on a flat surface and slightly raised his legs.
If the victim is fainting, turn his head to the side, this will prevent the flow of vomit into the respiratory tract in case the person starts to feel sick. Check breathing and heartbeat - in critical cases, resuscitation may be required - artificial respiration or heart massage aimed at maintaining blood circulation in a person. If the temperature has exceeded the threshold of 38.5 degrees, the victim must be cooled. Pour or wipe your entire body with cold water. Apply ice packs to your head, underarms, and under your knees. Upon reaching 38 degrees, cooling can be stopped, but you need to leave a wet towel on the victim's head. After these procedures, immediately call an ambulance, further treatment should be under the supervision of a qualified specialist.