Causes and Risk factors of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke sometime also known as sun stroke , which is a spectrum of disorders due to environmental heat exposure. It includes minor conditions such as

heat cramps,

heat syncope, and

heat exhaustion as well as the more severe condition known as

heat stroke.

                                   Heat stroke is defined as when the body temperature is greater than 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) due to environmental heat exposure  it is different from fever, in which  there is a physiological increase in the temperature set point of the body.Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia   an abnormally elevated body temperature. heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.  Severe hyperthermia is defined as a body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher.

classification

A number of heat illnesses are there which are given as

  • Heat stroke – a body temperature of greater than 40.6 °C (105.1 °F) due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermo regulation Symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness.
  • Heat exhaustion –  Can be a precursor of heatstroke; the symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse.
  • heat syncope
  • Heat edema
  • heat cramps–  which mainly include Muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise in hot weather.
  • Heat rash –  in which there is Skin irritation from excessive sweating.
  • Heat tetany – Usually results from short periods of stress in intense heat. Symptoms may include hyperventilation, respiratory problems, numbness or tingling, or muscle spasms.

        Causes

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.

dehydration-. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.

Substances that inhibit cooling such as  alcohol, caffeine, stimulants,  medications, and age-related physiological changes predispose to heat stroke. Exertional heat stroke can  occur most commonly  in young people without health problems or medications, most often in athletes and military  people.

                                Risk factors of heat stroke

The most  important risk factors  of heat stroke include:

  • infants,
  • the elderly people often associated  with heart diseases  lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that  can cause dehydration and heat stroke
  • athletes,
  • individuals who work outside and physically exert themselves under the sun.

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/10/2011

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