Oman health: Take special care to avoid heat-related illness, say medics

Oman Tuesday 12/July/2016 21:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman health: Take special care to avoid heat-related illness, say medics

Muscat: With the heat and humidity on the rise, doctors in the Sultanate have urged people to take use extra care to avoid heat-related illness.
“People suffer heat-related illnesses, such as heat strokes and heat exhaustion when the body’s temperature-control system is overloaded,” Dr Jawid Ali Abdul Hameed, specialist, Internal Medicine at the Badr Al Sama Hospital, said.
“Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself. In some situations, especially during periods of high humidity, sweating alone will not provide an adequate release of body heat,” he added.
The Nizwa Badr Al Sama Hospital has already attended to a patient, who was suffering from a heat stroke, according to a doctor.
Heat stroke
“The highest risks for heat stroke or heat exhaustion are infants and children up to four years old, people 65 years and older, people who are overweight, people who over-exert during work or exercise, people who are ill or on certain medications,” the doctors asserted, according to medics.
“Dehydration is a big problem,” said Dr VCP Mohamed, specialist, Internal Medicine at Atlas Hospital. He advised people to wear loose cotton clothes and drink ample amounts of water with salt, sugar, and lemon.
Drink water
“Active people should drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour,” Mohamed suggested. “Avoid fluids that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illness,” he added.
He advised people to avoid going out between 12 pm and 3 pm.
“Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or the evening, when the sun is less direct, wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, move to the shade or into an air-conditioned building at the first signs of heat illness,” Mohamed advised.
“Heat-related symptoms can come on quickly,” Dr Hameed from Badr Al Sama Hospital said.
“Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting,” he added.
Heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening condition, according to Dr Jawid Ali.
“Heat strokes are characterised by a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher; red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; rapid pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; unconsciousness; and gray skin colour,” he asserted. According to the Oman Meteorological Department, the temperature has already crossed 48 degrees in many parts of the Sultanate. On Monday, places, such a Mudhaibi and Um Zamaim recorded a temperature of more than 48 degrees Celsius.
Dr Mohamed also noted that people who are visiting Oman for the first time should be extra careful to not be exposed to such extreme temperatures.
“They should use protective clothes, such as hats and sunglasses, whenever they go out and if they feel any discomfort should be moved to a cool place,” he recommended.