Heatstroke: Tips to Avoid Deadly Heatwave in Ramadan

Saniya Yousuf Jun 22 2015
heatwave-karachi

Heatstroke is caused by the overheating of body by the exposure to high temperatures as our bodies can only maintain internal temperature within safe limits. In an extremely hot environment where our bodies cannot effectively cool down and when the temperature is like 104 F (40C) or even higher, heat exhaustion or heat stroke can occur that is a very serious form of injury caused by heat.

This term is not a surprise for the citizens of Karachi as the temperature is rising and killing people. More than 150 people from heatstroke in last two days when the temperature hit to the max in Karachi.

Karachi got hit by the worst heat wave with temperature rising to 45 degrees Celsius, the cherry on the top was the collapse of local power grid affecting hundreds. Saturday was the hottest in Sindh as cool sea breeze wasn’t blowing and the whole city was only getting the continental. Many people were admitted to hospitals for heat-related treatments, suffering from dehydration, low blood pressure and fever whereas many lost their lives in the grip of heat wave, most of them were elderly people.

Although a little rain showers may provide a bit respite to the citizen, just to save lives, Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) have set up Heat Stroke Centers all over Karachi with doctors, para medical staff and medicines to help people but in any case a little knowledge and list of precautions to save yourself isn’t bad at all.

Precautions:

It is very important to make sure you’re doing everything right to keep yourself hydrated and healthy in this hot weather as many of us are fasting and we forget to take precautions, here are the few tips to keep ourselves safe from heat exhaustion.

  1. When you’re performing indoor activities, make sure to open all the windows. In a city like Karachi when the temperature is too hot, make use of fans or air-conditioner for good ventilation.
  2. Try avoiding vigorous exercise stuffy environment. Always choose an indoor venue that provides a good ventilation.
  3. You can help yourself by wearing light-colored and avoid fitted clothing, make sure to use an umbrella while going outdoors to avoid direct sunlight.
  4. Increase your water consumption, drink plenty glasses of water to avoid dehydration. Drink ample of water before Seheri, go for fruit and vegetable jucies as well.
  5. Avoid drinking tea and coffee.
  6. Take frequent baths to cool off your body.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

You should always be aware of signs and symptoms for emergency calls:

  1. You will feel your skin is warm and flushed.
  2. You will feel dizziness and weakness.
  3. If you feel feverish, seek medical help.
  4. Watch out for headaches.

Causes of Heat Stroke:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Exercise in hot weather
  3. Hot and humid weather itself
  4. Direct exposure to sun
  5. Working outdoors

Treatment for emergencies:

  1. Move the person having heat stroke to a shady place or take him/her indoor and make him/her lie with the legs elevated.
  2. Have them sip cool water if they’re able to drink liquids.
  3. Apply water to skin, remove clothing and put the fan or air conditioner on.
  4. Apply ice to armpits, ankles, groin and waist.

Let’s hope there would be no loss of lives anymore, the heat is also unbearable due to shortage of water and electricity. The government has taken a notice and has threatened electric supply companies that there should be no power shortage specially during the Holy month of Ramadan as people fast and its gets hard for them to take this heat.

Saniya Yousuf

Saniya Yousuf:

Saniya Yousuf is a student of Media Sciences at Ziauddin University and an Internee at HTV who has a love for art and writing. With the immense love for writing, words grew from a mild interest to an integral part of what defines her.