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Around the Garden => News Articles => Topic started by: scgardenweb on October 14, 2016, 02:01 PM

Title: Avoid Heat Stroke this Summer
Post by: scgardenweb on October 14, 2016, 02:01 PM
Avoid Heat Stroke this Summer

By Shirley Ward, BSN, RN (former Sunshine Gardener)

Illness caused by exposure to heat can be prevented. Gardeners are at risk for heat illnesses because we work during hot conditions, usually longer than we planned, and don't drink adequate fluids. Risk factors for heat illnesses are age, heart disease and medications that have a "dry mouth" side effect. (These include diuretics, decongestants, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medications.) Intake of alcohol and caffeine increases the risk as does weather temperture and high humidity. (Very low humidity is dangerous as well, since most of us use perspiration as a guide to body fluid loss).

Three stages of heat illnesses:

First Aid: (Start immediately since heat cramps can go into heat exhaustion and then to heat stroke). Get the person out of the hot environment and into a cool place. Cool with sprays of cool water. Place wet, cool cloths against the person's skin.

Heat Cramps or Heat Exhaustion: Have the person sit or lie down and replace body fluids by giving water to drink. If the person is not feeling better in thirty minutes or if conditions worsen, call 911.

Heat Stroke: This is a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 and cool the person as rapidly as possible. Wet the person with water, cool with a fan -- change cool wet cloths as soon as they become hot. Do not give an unconscious person anything by mouth.


Printed in "The Garden Plot" Volume 1 Number 3, Summer 2000