Medical Definition of Power outage and the heat
Power outage and the heat: When the power goes out in the summer, heat can become a problem. Most heat disorders are caused by dehydration. Our bodies lose water from sweating, and the water lost must be constantly replaced. The young, the old, those with chronic illness and people who are homebound are most at-risk for heat-related injury.
People at work in hot weather can face a risk when the outage results in the loss of air conditioning in their office, plant, or other place of employment.
All heat-related deaths are preventable. When faced with prolonged high temperatures, it is recommended that that people take the precautions below to prevent heat-related illness and injury:
If you feel dizzy, weak, or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water, and wash your face with cool water. If you don't feel better soon, get help from an emergency medical provider.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can't control its own temperature. During a heat stroke the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body cannot cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 F (41 C) or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Warning signs of heat stroke vary but can include the following:
If you suspect someone has heat stroke, follow these instructions:
See also: Heat-related illness.
Last Editorial Review: 9/14/2016
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