Heat Advisory: Prevention tips for your patients

It has been a few days that the temperature in Quebec is so high. The combination of heat and humidity produced a stagerring humidex of 40°C (104 °F). This indicates a high risk for heat related ailments such heatstrokes and heat exhaustion.

People at risks are:

1. Children less than 5 years of age.

2. The elderly people (75 years old and above).

3. People with chronic illnesses such as, with cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, neurogical, behavioral and mental problems.

The heat acts in different ways on the human body, symptoms to watch for are:

1. Headache

2. Muscle cramps

3. Swelling of the hands , feet and ankles

4. Appearance of small red spots on the skin , called " heat rash "

5. Unusual tiredness or exhaustion

6. General malaise

7. Signs of dehydration: strong thirst , decreased urination, dark urine, and dry skin

8. Rapid pulse and breathing

Tips to protect against the effects of heat, during a hot weather it is necessary to:

1. Drink six ( 6) to eight (8 ) glasses of water daily unless contraindicated.

2. Avoid physical exertion

3. Spend at least two (2) hours per day in an air conditioned or cool.

4. At least take a shower or a cool bath a day or refresh the skin several times a day with a wet towel.

5. Close curtains and blinds to keep the freshness in your home.

6. Wear light clothing

7. Avoid alcohol

8. Get news of those at risk , especially those who are sick or live alone.

WHAT TO DO:

Reference:

Ordre des infirmieres et des infirmiers du Quebec (OIIQ)

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