Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Hot As . . . . Be Advised

You can fill in the blank however you desire. Just be advised that there is a hot weather advisory for much of the United States and particularly, here in the mid-south.

Weather Underground has issued this advisory for the Shelby County, Tennessee area:

... Heat advisory remains in effect until 8 PM CDT this evening...

* timing... peak heat index readings between 105 and 109 degrees
are expected between 11 am and 8 PM today.

* Impacts... prolonged exposure to this heat will be dangerous if
the proper precautions are not taken.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is
expected. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time
outside. When possible... reschedule strenuous activities to early
morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat
exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting
clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Check up on
relatives and neighbors.

To reduce risk during outdoor work... the occupational safety and
health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency... call 9 1 1.
Do not forget your neighbors and the elderly. Check on them. They may not realize that it is too hot to be in their own home and may need to go visit a friend or some other cool place.

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Here are some heat stroke facts:

Heat stroke facts

  • Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia in which the body temperature is elevated dramatically.
  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal if not promptly and properly treated.
  • Cooling the victim is a critical step in the treatment of heat stroke.
  • The most important measures to prevent heat strokes are to avoid becoming dehydrated and to avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather.
  • Infants, the elderly, athletes, and outdoor workers are the groups at greatest risk for heat stroke.

What is, and who is at risk for heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated. Heat stroke is also sometimes referred to as heatstroke or sun stroke. Severe hyperthermia is defined as a body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher.
The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous physical exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to dissipate the heat and the body temperature rises, sometimes up to 106 F (41.1 C) or higher. Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.
Those most susceptible (at risk) individuals to heart strokes include:
  • infants,
  • the elderly (often with associated heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to dehydration and heat strokes),
  • athletes, and
  • individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun.

What are heat stroke symptoms and signs?

Symptoms of heat stroke can sometimes mimic those of heart attack or other conditions. Sometimes a person experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion before progressing to heat strokes.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
However, some individuals can develop symptoms of heat stroke suddenly and rapidly without warning.
Different people may have different symptoms and signs of heatstroke. Common symptoms and signs of heat stroke include:
  • high body temperature,
  • the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin,
  • rapid pulse,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • strange behavior,
  • hallucinations,
  • confusion,
  • agitation,
  • disorientation,
  • seizure, and/or
  • coma.
For More Information: See Heat Stroke Facts

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