Skip to content

Heat Stroke

In hot weather, the body temperature would rise. Our body adjusts body temperature by mechanisms like sweating. If the environment is too hot and there is inadequate fluid replacement, these adjustment mechanisms may fail, and heat stroke occurs.

Heat stroke and the elderly

Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to suffer from heat stroke because of their compromised temperature adjusting mechanism, especially for those who have chronic illness (e.g. diabetic mellitus, stroke) or who are taking diuretics, are alcoholic, malnourished or debilitated.

Symptom of heat stroke

The symptoms of heat stroke are dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, hot and dry skin; in severe cases, convulsion and coma.

Caring of heat stroke

  1. Stop all activities immediately if the above symptoms occur.
  2. Switch on the fan or air-conditioner.
  3. If in outdoor area, get to a sheltered place. Use wet towel to wipe the body to cool down the temperature.
  4. If the elderly is conscious, give some cold drinks to replace the fluid lost.
  5. If the elderly does not recover or becomes drowsy, send to hospital immediately.

Prevention of heat stroke

  1. Open the windows and make sure that there is sufficient ventilation of the indoor area. You can use fan or air-conditioner to maintain a cool environment.
  2. In hot weather, it is better for the elderly to stay in cool indoor area and minimize outdoor activities.
  3. If need to go outdoor, bring along umbrella and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Preferably go out in the morning or in the evening.
  4. Listen to the weather report and wear appropriate clothes. Wear clothes that are loose, light-coloured, and made of cotton.
  5. Replace fluid lost adequately. Avoid taking tea, coffee and alcohol as they induce diuresis.