“The Bureau of Meteorology recorded 36.2 degrees at Sydney Airport yesterday. Several other places around Sydney reported temperatures of more than 35 degrees. Strong north-westerly winds were also recorded. Gusts at the airport were clocked at 89kmh.”
The reason I am talking about the weather: heat exhaustion.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If left untreated, an affected person may slip into a coma, often within minutes. Tragically, some people die from heatstroke as a result of heart failure, kidney failure or brain damage caused by the excess body heat.
Anyone believed to be suffering from heatstroke should be admitted to hospital as an emergency. They will usually be cared for in an intensive care unit where their body temperature will be lowered to a safe level and the abnormal salt and water content in the body corrected.
Who’s at risk?
Everyone’s at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, although some people are more at risk than others. These include:
- Small babies, children and older people, who have less efficient body cooling systems.
- People suffering from diarrhoea, who are more likely to become dehydrated.
- People from cooler climates who travel to hotter climates, as it may take a while for their bodies to get used to the heat. Being in areas of high humidity also increases a person’s risk, as this reduces the efficiency of sweating and decreases the amount of heat lost from the body.
- People with certain medical conditions that reduce the efficiency of the body’s cooling mechanisms. For example diabetes, obesity and chronic heart failure.
- Those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, which dehydrates the body.
I found myself affected yesterday evening, though not too badly; but when over 60 you have to remember to watch yourself on days like yesterday and make sure to drink plenty of water.