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Posts Tagged ‘Heat Stroke’

Stay Cool and Stay Hydrated. By Our July Student Pharmacist, Kevin Wenceslao.


As longtime Columbus meteorologist Marshall McPeek would say, this summer has been “hazy, hot, and humid.”

This past week alone, the average temperature was 84℉ with the humidity around 97%. Not only does the high temperature and humidity lower the air quality, these factors also put many people at risk for dehydration and heat-related illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 618 people in the U.S. are killed by extreme heat each year despite the fact that heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable.

By understanding the warning signs of dehydration and learning how to treat and prevent those symptoms, we can help reduce the number of heat-related incidents.

To start off, dehydration is defined by excess loss of water from the body. Water is required by the body to function normally. Typically, there should be a balance between water intake and output, but that can be disrupted by various factors:

  • Excessive heat
  • Physical activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness/High Fever
  • Medications, like diuretics (cause urination) or laxatives (cause watery bowel movements)
  • Barriers to fluid intake (sore throat or upset stomach)

In order to recognize if someone is dehydrated, there are symptoms that you can watch out for.

Mild symptoms include:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Urinating less often
  • Having dark urine
  • Having a dry mouth.

As dehydration becomes more severe, other symptoms may develop such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Feeling light-headed.

The best way to treat dehydration is with fluids. Mild dehydration can often be self-treated by drinking water, sports drinks, or rehydration liquids such as Pedialyte, which all can be found here at Plain City Druggist. If symptoms continue or worsen over a few days, it is important to call your doctor to get help. In cases of severe dehydration, people are given intravenous fluids through an IV at the hospital.


In summers like these, the extreme heat makes us more prone to dehydration. Not only does the hot weather directly increase our body temperatures, but it also causes us to sweat profusely and lose water more quickly.

Sweating is an important cooling mechanism for the body. As the water droplets evaporate from our skin, they also take away heat. When we are dehydrated, we lose that ability to produce sweat and cool ourselves down. If the body’s core temperature is too high, the vital organs and brain can be damaged, which leads to heat exhaustion, and, in extreme cases, heat stroke. In these severe cases, it is important to cool the affected person down and get the appropriate emergency help.


Fortunately, dehydration is a preventable condition. Proper hydration is key, and it is important to drink throughout the day even if you’re not feeling thirsty. In hot weather or during times of physical activity, you should also drink more than you think is actually necessary.

Staying cool is also a great way to avoid dehydration. Stay indoors and avoid doing outdoor work during the hottest parts of the day from noon to 3 PM.

If being outside is unavoidable, make sure to wear a hat and loose-fitting clothing, apply sunscreen, and plan frequent breaks to drink water and cool down.

More importantly, certain people are also at greater risk of dehydration and of developing heat related illness. These include older adults over the age of 65, people with chronic medical conditions, children, and infants. Keep a close eye on friends and family during these hot and humid days, and encourage each other to stay cool and stay hydrated. If you have more questions, the CDC website is a great place to visit for tips or pop into our air-conditioned pharmacy to talk to your local pharmacist!


Natural Disasters and Severe Weather. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, June 19). Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html

Patient Education: Dehydration (The Basics). UpToDate. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from https://www-uptodate-com.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/contents/dehydration-the-basics?source=see_link

Image Sources:

Heat Related Illnesses. By Our August Student Pharmacist, Ben Coles.

With the summer swelter still in full swing, it might continue to be difficult getting and staying cool. But what happens when our bodies lose the fight to cool down and get too hot? While our bodies naturally tell us to rest and increase sweat production and secretion when the temperature gets too high, sometimes we may succumb to a heat-related illness.

There are three different heat-related illnesses of different degrees of severity:


Heat cramps are the mildest form of heat-related illness and thus have the mildest symptoms.

The symptoms, as well as treatments, of heat cramps are explained below:


Heat exhaustion is more severe and is caused by the loss of water without fluid replacement. If not treated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

The symptoms and treatments of heat exhaustion are explained below:


Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and is a medical emergency that needs treated immediately.

The symptoms and treatments for heat stroke are listed below:


Although heat-related illnesses can become very serious, the primary goal is to prevent anyone from progressing to one of these states. There are plenty of habits we can employ to stay hydrated and cool.


Let’s do all we can to enjoy the rest of our summer while staying hydrated and cool. For more information, visit: CDC.gov/extremeheat.


Beat the Summer Heat! By Our “Keeping Cool in the Air Conditioned Pharmacy” Student Pharmacist, Katy Schafer.

Most of us are glad to finally see the temperature rising! The first official day of summer was Saturday, June 21, but the heat arrived well before summer did!

Summer sun is lots of fun, but the heat can also be dangerous. Here are some quick facts about warm weather and ways to beat the heat and stay safe in the upcoming extreme temperatures.

What is a heat index?

The heat index is a number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells you how hot it actually feels outside once humidity is added to the air temperature. For example, when the air temperature is 85 degrees, it might actually feel more like 90 or 95 degrees depending on how humid it is outside. The humidity can make a huge difference in how much you sweat and how you feel!

The heat index was designed to work in shady, light wind conditions, so exposure to full sun can increase the heat index by up to 15 degrees!

Heat Disorders:

Heat can cause a variety of different problems. They can be broken down into four general categories:

  1. Sunburn – Skin redness and possible swelling.
  2. Heat Cramps – Painful spasms in the leg and abdominal muscles along with heavy sweating.
  3. Heat Exhaustion – Heavy sweating, weakness, cold and clammy skin, and sometimes vomiting.
  4. Heat Stroke – High body temperatures, usually above 106 degrees. The skin will be hot and dry and your heart will beat very fast. Some people will pass out.

Heat Stroke is a severe medical emergency! If you or someone you know is experiencing a heat stroke, call 911 or emergency medical services immediately. Get the person to a cooler place and remove clothing if you can. Do not give them water! If they are unconscious, they won’t be able to swallow and it could cause them to choke.


Preventing heat disorders is all about planning ahead. Here are some tips to prevent heat disorders and dehydration:

  1. Avoid the heat. If you know it’s going to be too hot outside, stay indoors as much as possible. Try to spend time in an air conditioned space if you can. Just two hours a day in air conditioning can greatly reduce the risk of heat disorders. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, malls or other public places would be a good option to spend time when it is very hot.
  2. Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Lightweight, light-colored clothes reflect heat and sunlight, which will help you stay cool. Try to avoid sunburns as they prevent your skin from cooling itself.
  3. Drink for the heat. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. However, if you have heart or kidney disease and are on a fluid-restricted diet, talk to your doctor before you increase your fluid intake.
  4. Don’t drink in the heat. Avoid alcohol and caffeine–both of these constrict blood vessels in the skin and keep your body from releasing heat. They can also cause dehydration.
  5. Living in the heat. Reschedule strenuous activities like running, biking, or yard work when it heats up. The best times for these are early morning or late evening hours. Cool baths and showers can also help. Do not leave children or pets in closed vehicles! Temperatures in a car can reach 140-190 degrees in as little as 20 minutes.

If you have any questions about heat disorders or other tips on prevention, stop in or give us a call! Have a great summer!









Heat Safety. By Our “Special K” Pharmacy Student, Kelly Banker.

Hello everyone, this is Kelly Banker blogging to you for Plain City Druggist.  I am a pharmacy student doing an internship at PCD for the month of July.  With the recent high July temperatures in the area, I wanted to take some time to remind readers of important heat safety tips.

Never, ever leave children or pets in your car.  Also be sure to keep cars locked when not in use so that children can’t play in the car and become locked inside. Since 1998, there have been almost 500 heat related deaths of infants and children due to being left in a closed vehicle.  As this simulation shows, a closed car on a 90° day can quickly increase to deadly temperatures: up to 109° within 10 minutes and up to 133° within an hour.

Car interior becomes an oven simulation: http://www.weather.com/newscenter/specialtopics/slideshows/hotcar061909.html?page=1&scheme=image-horiz-plain.css

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging parents and other caregivers to think, “Where’s baby? Look before you lock.” Unfortunately, many infants and small children die each year in hot cars, because they have fallen asleep in their car seats and are then forgotten in cars by busy adults.

Use the buddy system.  It is estimated that during the Chicago heat wave of 1995, over 700 people died of heat related illnesses.  Many of these deaths were elderly people who had no air conditioning and no one to check up on them.  If you have a job working outside in the heat or live by yourself, ask someone to call and check on you at least daily.  If you know anyone over the age of 65 or have elderly neighbors, be sure to check up on them during this hot weather.

Stay hydrated.  If you spend any time outside in hot weather, you should increase your fluid intake.  Water, sports drinks, and foods high in water content like fruits and vegetables (think watermelon!) are all good ways to stay hydrated.  Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine which will worsen dehydration.  If you are taking your pets with you somewhere, remember to bring them plenty of water, too.  Symptoms of dehydration include dark colored urine, weakness, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, decreased tears and sweating and tiredness.  Young children, the elderly, people with chronic disease and people taking certain medications are at increased risk.  More information on dehydration can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dehydration/DS00561

Known the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  A person with heat exhaustion may have symptoms similar to but more severe than dehydration as well as muscle and abdomen cramps, nausea, vomiting, increased pulse rate, and low blood pressure.  Their body temperature is usually near normal and they can be treated by drinking fluids, moving out of the heat and attempting to cool off using a cool shower.  Heat stroke is a more serious condition in which the body becomes unable to control its temperature.  People with heat stroke usually have highly increased body temperatures, often over 103° F, with associated neurologic symptoms such as bizarre behaviors, psychosis, seizures, tremor, and confusion.  They may also have red, hot skin, and an absence of sweating.  Classic heat stroke develops slowly over several days.  If you or someone you know has symptoms of heat stroke, call for medical assistance immediately and begin trying to cool them.  For more information about staying safe in the heat or symptoms of heat stroke, click on the links below:



If you have any questions, feel free to call us here at Plain City Druggist.  Enjoy your summer and stay cool!