Navigation Links
It's Not So Much the Heat, It's the Lack of Power
Date:7/2/2012

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- It's bad enough that a record-breaking heat wave is throttling the eastern half of the United States, but millions of people have no electrical power to help them cope with the searing temperatures.

An estimated 2 million customers from North Carolina to New Jersey and as far west as Illinois had no power Monday morning, USA Today reported, and utilities companies said the power outage could last several more days.

Without power, people are struggling to cope with the dangerously high temperatures, unable to follow standard advice that includes retreating to the air conditioning or using fans to keep cool.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, advises cooling off in a pool or other body of water. He also advises drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.

"Don't just drink when you are thirsty -- keep ahead of your thirst and drink consistently throughout the day," he said.

Sports drinks that contain electrolytes such as sodium and potassium with small amounts of glucose may help combat dehydration, Glatter noted, but caffeinated beverages and products with high amounts of sugar can worsen dehydration.

Because children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to dehydration, they should be checked on often and encouraged to drink lots of fluids, he added.

Signs that you are overheated or at risk for a heat-related problem include dizziness, nausea and headache. If children or the elderly have any of these signs, they should go to an emergency room for medical attention.

"If people have an elevated temperature and are confused, it is important not to administer things like Advil, Tylenol or aspirin, because these medicines can worsen heat stroke," Glatter said. "Don't give medicines that lower temperature for a heat-related emergency."

If you have power but no air conditioning, you can spray your body with water and sit in front of a fan to keep cool, he said.

Many seniors take medications that hamper the body's ability to cool itself through sweating, including diuretics and some blood pressure drugs. People who are overweight also may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wear loose, light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun's rays if you have to spend time outdoors, Glatter said.

The CDC recommends a "buddy system" when working in the heat, to monitor the health of your co-workers and have them do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness, and you should call 911 immediately if you see this happening.

Even short periods of hot temperatures can cause serious health problems, so the CDC recommends listening to local media reports or contacting local health departments for safety updates. Overexerting yourself on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses.

According to the CDC, there are several types of heat illnesses that you need to watch out for, both in yourself and others:

  • Heat stroke happens when the body can't regulate its own temperature. You lose your ability to sweat, and your body is unable to cool down. Your body temperature may rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the space of 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given. Symptoms include red, hot, dry skin; a rapid and strong pulse; a throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; and confusion. Once these symptoms occur, the victim has to be cooled rapidly using whatever methods you have, which include putting the person in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spraying the person with a hose or wrapping the victim in a cool sheet. Do not give the victim fluids to drink, and get medical help as soon as possible.
  • Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and lack of fluids. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in a hot environment. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and fainting. The skin may be cool and moist and the pulse rate fast and weak while breathing may be fast and shallow. Help cool off the victim, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour.
  • Heat cramps typically happen after you sweat a lot during strenuous activity. The cramps also may be a symptom of heat exhaustion. Cramps symptoms include muscle pains or spasms -- usually in the stomach, arms or legs. You should stop all activity immediately and sit down in a cool place if you experience cramps. Drink clear liquids or sports drinks, and do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours. Seek medical attention if the cramps do not stop within an hour.

More information

For more on coping with heat waves, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-- HealthDay staff

SOURCES: Robert Glatter, M.D., emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Power without the cord
2. Power generation technology based on piezoelectric nanocomposite materials developed by KAIST
3. Moving 3D computer model of key human protein is powerful new tool in fight against cancer
4. Grb2 holds powerful molecular signaling pathway in check
5. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Offers Its Services to Chemical Plant or Power Plant Workers Living with Mesothelioma Including Naming the Best Mesothelioma Attorneys
6. A Void In The Independent Pharmacy Industry Leads to Independent Rx Consulting, Powered by OurHelix
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... most influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their ... 18,000 views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare ... (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and ... apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans ... frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Award of Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s ... 4 – 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today ... Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & ... award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2017 ... has recognized the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation ... is based on extensive primary and secondary medical device market ... AVACEN Medical, through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, ... a unique approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 11, 2017  True Health, a leader in ... effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to ... Research recently ... that more than 10 million American women are ... BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had testing. These ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017  In ... Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released ... opioids – to be used as a first-line ... pain. Recognizing ... the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: