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Heat and sunstroke

MedExpress Team

Hanna Mądra

Published June 20, 2023 11:32

Heat and sunstroke - Header image
Fot. iStock/Getty Images
In summer we often hear announcements about deaths due to heat waves. In Europe, several hundred people die every year because of it. Children most often die in sun-heated cars, but also adults, such as those standing in long traffic jams. Heat stroke can affect anyone, including a healthy person in the prime of life.

Heat stroke or sunstroke?

Heat stroke, or overheating, threatens us when we stay for a long time in a heavily heated and poorly ventilated room or in a car, for example, standing in traffic. In such conditions, the body begins to have a problem with thermoregulation - it stops cooling itself.

But overheating can also threaten us if we put on tight clothes made of artificial fabrics that don't allow our skin to breathe during hot weather. It can also happen if we don't drink enough or overuse liquor.

Symptoms: elevation of body temperature up to 40 degrees C, accelerated heart rate, headache and dizziness, dry, inflamed skin, disturbance of consciousness that can lead to hyperactivity and hallucinations, and fainting.

Sunstroke, or sunstroke, is a variant of heatstroke. It most often affects us during prolonged exposure to the scorching rays of the summer sun, such as at the beach, while hiking in the open air or working on a plot of land. More often it happens after heavy physical exertion. With sunstroke, it is primarily the nervous system that suffers. The sun's rays, falling on the scalp, cause congestion of the brain and meninges, which leads to electrolyte disturbances and dehydration of the body.

We are most vulnerable to sunstroke on sunny days when the temperature in the shade exceeds 30 degrees C. But the danger is also high on hot cloudy days with high humidity and no wind. In such weather, our thermoregulatory system can...

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