Climate Change and Heat Stroke

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CLIMATE CHANGE & HEALTH:
HEAT STROKE
GENERAL INFORMATION
Heatstroke (or sunstroke) is a heat illness
defined as a body temperature of 105 °F due to
environmental heat exposure and dehydration.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat
injury and is a medical emergency. Heat stroke
can kill or cause damage to the brain or other
internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly
affects people over the age of 50, it can still take
a toll on healthy young adults. Common
symptoms of heat stroke include nausea,
seizures, confusion, headache, disorientation,
hot skin, rapid heartbeat and sometimes loss of
consciousness or coma.
Tips on Preventing Heat Stroke

Insulate & install window air conditioners
at home and at work

Stay indoors in a cool place on the hottest
days

Stay on the lowest floor or seek cooling
centers, if air conditioning is not available

Postpone outdoor activities

Eat light, balanced meals and drink plenty
of water. Avoid caffeine or alcohol

Never leave children or pets alone in
vehicles

Check on family, friends and neighbors,
especially the elderly or disabled
CLIMATE CHANGE
& EXTREME HEAT:
Across the nation, climate change is making
hot summer days hotter and stretching their
numbers into heat waves that never seem to
end. This heat is causing more than just
discomfort - as temperatures rise, so are the
number of illnesses, emergency room visits,
and deaths.
The effects of climate change will increase
temperatures in Chicago. Warmer
temperatures can increase incidence of heat
stroke, trigger asthma attacks and lead to
other heat-related illnesses.
If heat stroke is suspected notify emergency
services (911) immediately. In the
meantime get the victim to a cool area and
have them drink cool water.
CLIMATE ADAPTATION:
Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility
believes that many local communities are
disproportionately impacted by the
hardships caused by climate change and
extreme weather incidents. Members of
these communities are particularly
vulnerable to displacement, sickness, death,
and mis-education, which makes the
creation of adaption plans paramount.
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