Parish Nurse Health Tips for April 24, 2016

Parish Nurse Health Tips 04-24-16

The very warm weather we had this past week was wonderful for most folks, but I am prompted  to give a reminder about HEAT EXHAUSTION.  While I was doing blood pressure clinic at Canterbury Manor on Wednesday, I saw an ambulance and firetruck parked outside on the street tending a person who had collapsed in the heat and needed to be transported to the emergency room for treatment.  The fireman said they had 5-6 calls for heat exhaustion already that day, and urged me to tell all the folks about the importance of fluid intake in hot weather.  We also need to be mindful of the importance of making sure our young folks are not getting dehydrated when they are participating in sports activities.

Be observant for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion, that can include:

😓 Confusion

😓 Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat

😓 Heavy sweating

😓 Faintness, dizziness, weak and rapid pulse

😓 Muscle or abdominal cramps, sudden onset of nausea or vomiting

In most cases, you can treat heat exhaustion yourself by doing the following:

🏩 Rest in a cool place. Getting into an air-conditioned building is best, but at the very least, find a shady spot or sit in front of a fan. Rest on your back with your legs elevated higher than your heart level.

🏩 Drink cool fluids. Stick to water or sports drinks. Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages, which can contribute to dehydration.

🏩 Try cooling measures. If possible, take a cool shower, soak in a cool bath or put towels soaked in cool water on your skin.

🏩 Loosen clothing. Remove any unnecessary clothing and make sure your clothes are lightweight and nonbinding.

If you don’t begin to feel better within one hour of using these treatment measures, seek prompt medical attention. You may be given intravenous (IV) fluids to help you rehydrate. Immersing yourself in cold water, misting your skin, placing yourself in front of fans, or using cold or ice packs and cooling blankets are some of the techniques that may be used to bring down your body temperature.

Seek shade, use sunscreen, wear head covering, drink lots of  fluids, check with the doctor to make sure your medications  are not going to make you susceptible to heat exhaustion.

Most of all, be smart, be alert to symptoms, drink plenty of water and stay away from alcohol!

God gave us our beautiful bodies to serve us in our earthly journey.  Let’s remember to take good care of it!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the

Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.

So glorify God in your body.

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

Stay cool!

Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace, peaceparishnurse@comcast.net