What is hyperthermia?

Headache, dry and sticky mouth feeling, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chills, dry and flushed skin, muscle cramps in arms, legs or belly, disorientation, loss of consciousness or confusion and no sweating in high temperatures, are the main symptoms of hyperthermia, a complication that can cause heat stroke and cause irreversible organ failure.

This has been commented by the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SEGG), which recalls that older people are the group most at risk of suffering one of these episodes related to high temperatures, because they tend to forget to drink because they have a lower sensation of thirst than the rest of the population.

This means that the speed of dehydration in the elderly is greater, also increasing in the cases of people who are overweight, have chronic diseases or are on medication.

Youtube Video

“Our body is prepared to maintain an almost constant temperature; around 36-37 degrees Celsius, when the external temperature is high, and even more so if the humidity of the environment is high or if some exercise or physical activity is being carried out, they can suffer thermal attacks that could lead to situations of high risk to life”, explained the president of the SEGG, José Antonio López Trigo.

Heat stroke “has nothing to do” with hot flashes or hot flashes, since it occurs when body temperature exceeds 40 degrees and the body is unable to eliminate excess heat. “When our body temperature exceeds 41 degrees, hyperthermia occurs, overcoming the thermal regulation mechanisms available to our body and causing the dreaded heat stroke, a situation in which the body can no longer respond to high temperatures. with such serious repercussions that it could lead to irreversible organic failure”, he added.

See also  Advantages and disadvantages of linking up with your bank

The reason for hyperthermia: heat is lost by evaporation

In fact, the main mechanism for an increase in body temperature is a dilation of the small peripheral vessels that favors the passage of blood through the skin. This, together with an increase in sweating, causes heat to be lost by evaporation, which can lead to a “very important” loss of liquids that affects the different organs, such as the kidney, heart or brain.

In addition, if the outside temperature is very high and fluid losses are not adequately replaced, a situation of dehydration occurs, blood pressure drops, a feeling of weakness and even muscle cramps appear.

If this situation is not corrected in time and progresses, the ability to sweat is lost and the skin appears dry and red, the body temperature gradually rises to figures that exceed 40 degrees, entering hyperthermia and, if this process continues, a ‘shock’ situation is reached in which there is a failure of the different organs, convulsions and coma.

To avoid all these problems for older people, the SEGG has recommended drinking plenty of fluids, eating light meals, avoiding exposure to the sun when temperatures are high, not exercising or doing sports that increase effort and sweating in times of heat, keep the house cool and ventilated, do not stay in parked or closed vehicles and avoid wearing tight clothing and choose light fabrics.

“In the event of a heat stroke, and while we wait for the emergency services, we have to act like when a person has a fever of 40, that is, we will try to lower the temperature, and for this we can use fresh water cloths and apply them on the forehead, on the neck or on the pulses.It is also advisable to act as in a case of low blood pressure, that the person is lying down, with the legs raised, and make them drink liquids little by little, for example water with a little of salt and sugar, or some isotonic drink”, López Trigo has settled.

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...