Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
BETHESDA, MARYLAND - Some twenty states - including much of Indian Country - are currently being hit with unseasonal high temperatures. The Heat Wave of 2011 is expected to last all of this week and continue into next week.
Heat-related illnesses are collectively known as hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia occurs when the body overheats. Conditions involving hyperthermia have different names, including heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (lightheadedness or fainting in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
Health-related factors that may increase the risk of hyperthermia include:
Lifestyle factors that can also increase the risk of hyperthermia include hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding how to respond to weather conditions.
Older people, particularly those at special risk, should pay attention to any air pollution alert in effect. People without fans or air conditioners should go to shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or other places with air conditioning. In addition, they can visit cooling centers which are often provided by tribal government departments, religious groups and social service organizations in many communities.
Heat stroke is an advanced form of hyperthermia. It occurs when the body is overwhelmed by heat and unable to control its temperature. In heat stroke, the body temperature is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Someone with heat stroke may have a strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, dry flushed skin, faintness, staggering and mental status changes such as confusion, combativeness, disorientation or even coma. Seek immediate medical attention for a person with any of these symptoms, especially an older adult.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness:
This information was furnished by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
posted July 19, 2011 6:30 am edt
Do you have a comment about this news brief? Share it!
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.