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Three elderly hospitalized with heat stroke as temperature reached 45.9C in Crete

Three elderly people have been hospitalized in Herakleio with symptoms of heat stroke. For two of them, doctors considered intubation as necessary, local media report.

As a heat wave has been striking Greece since last Thursday, municipalities across the country have opened air-conditioned space for citizens, especially thinking of those who cannot afford to turn A/C or the fan on.

The highest temperature recorded on Saturday was in Moires, Herakleion:

                               45.9 degrees Celsius

To avoid such cases, also the municipality of Herakleion has opened air-conditioned halls free of charge for the citizens.

Meanwhile, Cretapost reports of the death of a 32-year-old man in Moires, Herakleio. The man from Amari village felt discomfort, an ambulance rushed and transferred him to  the health center in Moires. Doctors struggled for an hour to revive the young man. In vain. The man died of heart arrest, Cretapost notes.

Authorities have been warning especially those with health conditions and elderly to take preventive measures, keep themselves hydrated and avoid direct exposure to sun.

Heat stroke is a condition caused by the overheating of the body. It is usually the result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures – usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system.

The most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.

Heat stroke is considered as a medical emergency.

Symptoms

  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps (heat cramps)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50 and 65 , it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes.

How to prevent heatstroke

  • Wear loosefitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.
  • Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
  • Never leave anyone in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes. It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
  • Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
  • Get acclimated. Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
  • Be cautious if you’re at increased risk. If you take medications or have a condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services available in case of a heat emergency.(mayoclinic, webmd)

A 62-year-old municipality worker died of heart attack in the early morning hours of Saturday short after her second shift in less than 24 hours had started.

PS I hope we won’t start counting deaths caused by the heat wave…..

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One comment

  1. It is also very important not to leave dogs in parked cars, in the heat. They also will die very quickly. If I see this I will break the car window to rescue the animal as this is extremely cruel and uncaring. If you wait for the Police the animal will be dead.