The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) yesterday urged the public to take precautions against heat stroke as most parts of the country continue to sizzle.
PHAP president Rustico Jimenez said there has been an increase in heat stroke cases since last month.
“Before summer, you would usually see one case of heat stroke in a hospital per month. But starting last month, five to 10 patients have been coming for consultation,” he said. “Most of the patients, however, were allowed to go home after being rehydrated.”
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines heat stroke as the “most serious heat-related illness” and can cause death or permanent disability.
“It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106ºF or higher within 10 to 15 minutes,” according to the CDC website.
The warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include an extremely high body temperature (above 103ºF); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and unconsciousness.
Jimenez said heat stroke is not usually fatal unless a patient is suffering from other diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and heart ailment.
“If a patient has other illnesses, heat stroke can become complicated. If not, IV fluids can be administered to rehydrate the patient,” he added.
He advised the public to avoid outdoor activities from noon to 3 p.m.
“If you can’t avoid the sun, use umbrella or hats. Don’t wear dark clothes because it retains the heat in the body,” he said.
Jimenez said it is important to drink more water to rehydrate the body.
“Ideally, we should drink eight glasses of water (1,500 cc) everyday. But during summer, we should drink more, like 2,000 to 2,500 cc,” he said.
Just few days ago, Manny Mendoza, weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the temperature in Metro Manila hit 35.4 degrees Celsius, the hottest recorded so far this year in the metropolis.
Mendoza advised the public to brace for hotter weather in the coming days as the easterlies – warm wind from the Pacific Ocean – peak.
He said the ridge of high pressure area and the easterlies will continue to affect most parts of the country until the weekend, bringing warm and humid weather.
Mendoza said the weather bureau was not expecting the development of a low-pressure area in the next few days.