DOH warns public vs. heatstroke

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the dangers of heatstroke, a common health condition associated with rising temperatures during the dry season.

“Mas mabutinguminom ng maramingtubig para makaiwassa heat stroke. Mahalagasamgabata o kamag-anak na matatanda na mabigyansila ng inumingtubig, na mahikayatsilauminom ng tubig (It would be better to drink a lot of water to avoid heatstroke. It is important for children or elderly relatives to give them water, that they’ll be encouraged to drink water),” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a radio interview on Monday.

The DOH defined heatstroke as a medical emergency wherein the body temperature reaches very high levels, 40 degrees Celsius and up, due to constant heat exposure.

It is usually in combination with dehydration which can damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. It may also lead to severe complications and even death if untreated.

Duque said senior citizens and babies are the usual victims of heatstroke, as he advised the public not to stay outdoors between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — hours when the sun is at its hottest.

The DOH advised the public to wear thin, loose and light-colored clothes, to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks; and to apply ice packs to armpits, groin and neck to cool down one’s body temperature. (PNA)