HMC encourages public to take precautions amid rising temperatures
With the rise in temperatures, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is urging residents of Qatar to start taking precautions to safeguard themselves against heat-related illnesses (HRI), such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
HRI occurs when a person’s body temperature rises above normal, due to prolonged exposure to heat in soaring temperatures, particularly as a result of high humidity and strenuous physical exercise. Depending on the extent of the illness, which ranges from mild to extreme, an individual may experience symptoms like muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, light-headedness, and extreme fatigue. The body’s inability to cope with the heat can result in mild HRIs such as heat cramps and episodes of fainting, but can also advance to more severe conditions, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Senior Consultant at Hamad General Hospital’s (HGH) Emergency Department (ED), Dr. Saad Al-Nuaimi, “It is highly recommended that people increase their water intake and drink at least two to four cups of water every hour, while working or exercising outdoors, even when they are not thirsty. Individuals can also drink fruit or vegetable juices but should avoid consuming liquids that contain high amounts of sugar.”
Treatment for HRI focuses on cooling the body and rehydrating it through oral or intravenous fluid, Dr. Al-Nuaimi noted. “Such cases are typically seen in late April and early May and the peak incidence is in July and August where, on average, about 300 cases are observed at HGH in a month,” he stated.