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Sunstroke (Insolation)

Wednesday, July 18th 2012. | Physical Health

Sunstroke Definition

Sunlight (UV) are the cause of sunstroke. The disease presents in the form of a sterile inflammation of the meninges (skin of the brain) and meningitis. It is called barren, because it is not caused by bacteria or viruses, but to sunlight. The main symptoms of meningitis are sterile identical to those of bacterial or viral infection: severe headache and stiff neck.

It should not be confused sunstroke and heat stroke, the latter being an independent body excess heat from sunlight.

Sunstroke requires cooling (shade) of the affected person immediately. The situation can become fatal if it causes a high fever or unconsciousness.

Sunstroke Causes

Sunlight (UV) directly on the head and neck are the cause of sunburn. UV cross indeed the hair, skin and bones of the skull, reaching the brain.

An increase in blood supply leads to warming and thus local inflammation of the meninges. As is the case for heat stroke, high external temperature or physical effort can contribute to heat stroke. A stay at altitude on a glacier or accompanied by strong sunlight is a cause of sunstroke.

Heat Stroke (img : unstroke1.blogspot.com)

Sunstroke Disorders (symptoms)

  • Head reddened and hot
  • Severe headache
  • Eventually stiff neck
  • The green-heart, vomiting
  • Dizziness, possibly loss of consciousness (ER)
  • Eventually the growing fever and chills
  • Possibly as conjunctivitis or eyes that burn
  • Sunburn, skin lesions

Sunstroke Examinations (diagnosis)

The symptoms described usually indicate exposure, if they appear after a long stay in the sun. Heat stroke is an emergency and must be supported by a doctor, especially if accompanied by vomiting or fainting.

sun stroke

Sunstroke Emergency (img : sunstroke1.blogspot.com)

Sunstroke Treatment Options

As soon as any indication of sunstroke, immediately move individual away from the sun if possible and take it in a cool (in a house, under a tree in the open air under an umbrella or in a machine protection from the sun).

Sunstroke Priority Actions

If the person is receptive:

  • Lengthen the patient correctly: raise his head and open his clothes, so they do not tighten more
  • Apply a cool cloth on his head and neck, possibly all over his body. Never apply an ice pack directly on his head!
  • Give a cold drink, possibly warm (not hot!) In the form of tea with sugar, broth or a mixture of water + a bit of juice + a pinch of salt (to replace lost salt )

If the person is not receptive, see unconscious:

  • Call the Fire Department (Tel.: 144 in Switzerland) or a doctor
  • Put the patient in recovery position, do not leave him alone
  • Cover the whole body of fresh linen, but not to apply ice on his head!

Sunstroke Preventive Measures

Do not stay too long in the sun, avoid the sun during the midday break.

  • Wear a hat or cap: if possible a material allowing air to circulate.
  • Protection from the sun with clothing suitable for the temperature
  • Drinking enough: minimum 2 to 3 liters per day
  • Wear sunglasses with good UV protection, and also at altitude when it snowed (snow blindness!)
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid crowds when it gets too hot
  • Warning: stay long in the water without head protection may also cause sunstroke!

Sunstroke Rules during a heat wave

  • Avoid physical activities
  • Keep your body and the house as cool as possible
  • Drink a lot (and a sufficient supply of salt)
  • Eat fresh food and refreshing

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