Highs of 35°C Forecast
The UK heatwave is set to reach new highs as the Met Office issues an ‘amber heat health watch warning’ across the South East, East Anglia and the Midlands.
According to the Met Office, an amber heat health watch warning means that temperatures are predicted to reach or exceed 30°C in the day and 15°C at night, for at least two consecutive days.
The heat health watch warning is designed to warn local health care services and professionals so that they can plan actions, as such high temperatures can be dangerous for vulnerable groups including the elderly, babies, toddlers and those with other health conditions.
Advice for avoiding heat exhaustion or heat stroke during the heatwave includes:
- Stay out of the sun or be sensible
- Avoid the peak sun hours of 11am to 3pm
- Cover up with long loose clothing – trousers/skirts and long sleeves – plus wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors
- Wear sunscreen with a high factor
- Drink plenty of water/cold drinks
- Avoid excess alcohol
- Avoid intense exercise, especially in the sun
- Take cool baths/showers or use a cold damp flannel/sponge to cool down
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
With such high temperatures, it is important to be alert for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is a usually short term condition which gets better when you cool down, so is not considered too serious. However, if it turns into heat stroke, that is considered a medical emergency, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
- Headache, dizziness, confusion
- Nausea, loss of appetite
- Pale, clammy skin
- Cramp (arms, legs or stomach)
- Fast breathing
- Racing pulse
- Temperature of 38°C or above
- Very thirsty
The initial treatment is to cool someone down asap. Move to a cooler place, lie down with feet elevated, use a cold flannel/sponge, use a fan and encourage the patient to drink plenty of water or rehydration drinks.
This usually makes a big difference within 30 minutes or so.
Heat stroke is the most serious form which can occur if the body temperature rises to 38°C or more.
In addition to the heat exhaustion symptoms, the patient may become unresponsive, confused, may lose consciousness. The skin may feel hot and dry and the patient may not be sweating even though they are hot. There is a risk of seizure.
If there is any concern about heat stroke, it is important to seek emergency medical attention.
Private GPs London
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