Heat waves associated with a rise in summertime death tolls

Heat waves associated with rise in death tolls

The temperature is getting hot and for many cities heat waves are already occurring, but for persons who are most susceptible to these changes in temperature it could have a deadly ending.


Seniors, children, and individuals suffering from chronic health problems are at a higher risk of heat-related complications and even death.  Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician, explained, “Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, as well as those who suffer with mental illness, may be at risk for heat-related emergencies, including heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, as well as heat stroke.”

“Various classes of medications including beta blockers, as well as diuretics, can impair sweating — ultimately disrupting the body’s ability to cool itself. Other medications including antihistamines, as well as antidepressants and sedatives, may also impair your ability to sweat, leading to heat-related illnesses,” he continued.

Even young and healthy individuals need to be mindful of the rising temperatures, too, in order to avoid heat-related complications.
Experts recommend staying well hydrated, but only when you are thirsty and avoid overhydrating. If you are being physically active outdoors, consuming sports drinks to replace electrolytes is recommended. It’s also important to pay attention to heat-related symptoms. Glatter explained, “A high pulse rate, headache, dizziness, nausea, as well as shallow breathing, may be the initial signs of dehydration that may precede heat-related illness.”

Staying in an air-conditioned facility or home is best way to stay cool. If your home is not equipped with air conditioning, try venturing to public spaces like libraries or malls. Using a fan and a spray bottle with cool water is also a useful way to stay cool.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.