The term “Sunstroke” or “heat stroke” is a synonym for “Hyperthermia”. It is an acute condition in which the body is unable to regulate the thermal mechanism and either absorbs or produces excess amount of heat than it can regulate. Drugs or environmental factors like exposure to excessive heat waves can cause this condition.
This is a due to failure of the “perspiration” mechanism of our body. This is a very acute condition and can also become a medical emergency.
The signs and symptoms include
Blood pressure may drop significantly from dehydration, leading to possible fainting or dizziness, especially if the victim stands suddenly. *Heart rate and respiration rate will increase (tachycardia and tachypnea) as blood pressure drops and the heart attempts to supply enough oxygen to the body. *The skin will become red as blood vessels dilate in an attempt to increase heat dissipation.
The decrease in blood pressure will cause blood vessels to contract as heat stroke progresses, resulting in a pale or bluish skin colour.
Complaints of feeling hot may be followed by chills and trembling, as is the case in fever.
Some victims, especially young children, may suffer convulsions.
Acute dehydration such as that accompanying heat stroke can produce nausea and vomiting;
temporary blindness may also be observed.
Eventually, as body organs begin to fail, unconsciousness and coma will result.
FIRST AID AND TREATMENT
The goal of the first aid should be bringing the body temperature to normal immediately in a step-wise manner but not suddenly.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization, and the local emergency services should be notified as soon as possible.
The victim should be moved to a cool area (indoors, or at least in the shade) and clothing removed to promote heat loss (passive cooling). Active cooling methods may be used:
The person is bathed in cool water, a hyperthermia vest can be applied, however, wrapping the victim in wet towels or clothes can actually act as insulation and increase the body temperature.
Cold compresses to the torso, head, neck, and groin will help cool the victim.
A fan may be used to aid in evaporation of the water (evaporative method). *Immersion in ice or cold water is dangeous as this may cause vasoconstriction in the skin, preventing heat from escaping the body core.
Immersing a victim into a bathtub of cool – but not cold – water (immersion method) is a recognized method of cooling. This method requires the effort of 4-5 persons and the victim should be monitored carefully during the treatment process. This should be avoided for an unconscious victim; if there is no alternative, the victim’s head must be held above water.
Hydration is of paramount importance in cooling the victim. This is achieved by drinking water (Oral rehydration).
Commercial isotonic drinks may be used as a substitute. Some authorities are opposed to giving any fluids, except by emergency personnel.
Intravenous hydration (via a drip) is necessary if the victim is confused, unconscious, or unable to tolerate oral fluids.
Alcohol rubs will cause further dehydration and impairment of consciousness and should be avoided.
The victim’s condition should be reassessed and stabilized by trained medical personnel.
The victim’s heart rate and breathing should be monitored, and CPR may be necessary if the victim goes into cardiac arrest.
The victim should be placed into the recovery position to ensure that the person’s airway remains open.
ROLE OF HOMEOPATHY IN SUNSTROKE:
After providing the first aid, which is very essential, the victim can be treated with homeopathic drugs to reduce the effects caused or to even recover faster. Few of the homeopathic drugs can be taken as sunstroke prophylactics. Do consult a qualified homeopathic physician before using any of homeopathic medicines.
Following are few of the medicines which can be used in sunstroke victims based on the victim’s symptomatology.
Nat carb ,glonoin , gelsemium ,lachesis , Belladonna,nat mur etc.