Extreme Weather

What to look out for:

  • Impaired sweating occurs from excess heat combined with humidity and is a big risk. Sweating is the body’s sprinkler system. It cools down our skin and is essential to the body’s ability able to cool itself in the heat.
  • Dehydration.  This is especially problematic in patients with underlying heart conditions or who are taking diuretic medication.
  • Heat cramps, especially in the legs, occur because of the loss of salts in the heat.
  • Heat fainting occurs because of a sudden drop in blood pressure from exercising too much in the heat.
  • Fatigue, confusion, headache, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath are signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Worsening confusion, lethargy, unconsciousness, and rising temperature to 105 degrees are signs of life-threatening heat stroke. If you encounter someone with any of these symptoms, call 911, and while waiting, put them in the shade, and try to immerse them in water. Paramedics will administer intravenous fluids.
  • Affects of extreme heat are worse in cities, where buildings trap in pollutants which magnify the effects.

How to protect yourself:

  • Replace water and electrolytes – even more than you think you may need.
  • Wear light clothing
  • Stay out of direct sunlight and utilize shade and air conditioning.
  • Limit outdoor exercise.
  • Watch out for the elderly – they are more susceptible to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Increase rest and take more naps.
  • Save household chores for another day!
  • Keep away from coffee a notorious diuretics.