Summer HeatStroke Alert for those on Medication - By Eleazar

Summer is here. Summer means fun and exciting outdoor activities. Summer also means HEATSTROKE. Heatstroke is a medical emergency when the body's temperature-regulating system (hypothalamus) breaks down - the victim can't sweat. Internal body temperature often rises as high as 108 degrees, which can cause irreversible brain damage and death. Simply, the mechanism of heatstroke involves the dopamine and acetylcholine receptor blockade. Heatstroke is more likely when the outside temperature is very hot.

It is more likely when taking the following drugs:

Antipsychotics (Thorazine, Mellaril, and others, even the newer drugs), Antiparkinsonian drugs (Cogentin, etc.),

Antihistamines (Benadryl, etc.), Antidepressants especially the tricyclics.

The Do's and Don'ts of heatstroke:

DO's: sleep in a cool place; drink extra fluids (caffeine-free); increase salt intake if no physical contraindications; spend time in cool places (malls, movies); wear loose, light-colored "summer" clothing; use fans or air conditioning; when feeling warm - use cool wet compresses or sit in a tub of cool water; remain with another person; & check frequently on elderly relatives or neighbors and those taking medications.

DON'Ts: engage in strenuous exercise; drink alcoholic beverages, coffee, and soda with caffeine; spend time outside in the sun; sleep or sit in hot conditions. Warning Signs: nausea, headache, feeling poorly, weakness, irritability, anxiety, fast pulse, hot OR dry skin, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea.

In the USA, CALL 911 if heatstroke is suspected.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer. -----Sincerely, Eleazar

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