When exposed to extreme hot weather, you can get ‘heat exhaustion’ or worse, ‘heat stroke’. Heat stroke is a serious condition due to exposure to extremely hot surrounding conditions that causes the body to be unable to stabilize the body temperature and it occurs when the body temperature rises rapidly above 40°C (degrees Celsius) or more. It can also be fatal as it leaves patients with brain and internal organ damage.

The Department of Meteorology Malaysia (METMalaysia) has also reported that heat and dry waves are hitting the country due to the monsoon transition and this situation is expected to continue until July 2023 in addition to hitting other Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam, China, India and Bangladesh, In Malaysia Meanwhile, 200 cases of heat-related illnesses have been reported, of which 22 cases were heat strokes. Therefore, active action should be taken to avoid the occurrence of heat-related diseases such as heat stroke.

Among the signs of a person suffering from heat stroke are:

  • The heart rate becomes fast and the patient will feel palpitations (normal heart rate: 60-100/minute), fast and short breathing (normal breathing rate: 12-20/minute).
  • The body feels hot and dry.
  • Headache, dizziness and lightheadedness and feeling nauseous
  • Unconsciousness, fainting or convulsions.
  • Decreased blood pressure (normal blood pressure: 120-140/60-80 mmHg)

Preventive measures to avoid being affected by this disease are as follows:

  • Limit outdoor activities.
  • Wear a hat or a large umbrella.
  • Avoid drinking drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, or high sugar content.
  • Drink plenty of plain water regardless of the level of physical activity you do and wait until you are thirsty.
  • Protect yourself from sunburn. Choose a suitable sunscreen with the correct SPF, apply it to your skin every two hours when exposed to the sun
  • Do not stay or leave anyone in a parked car with the engine running. When parked in the sun, the temperature of the car can rise up to 7 degrees Celsius within 10 minutes.

If you encounter a situation that requires medical attention, please seek immediate medical attention at your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.