Germany is at risk of heat collapse

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Temperature rise for the circuit is a significant burden

Summer is currently showing its sunny side and the temperatures are sometimes rising to over 30 degrees Celsius. Most people are happy about the extensive sunshine, but there are also some health risks associated with the sudden rise in temperature. Such high temperatures put a considerable strain on the circulation, since the body tries to maintain the normal temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius via the body's own temperature regulation.

In order to avoid an increase in body temperature when the outside temperature is high, the body essentially uses two different mechanisms. On the one hand, the so-called peripheral blood vessels in the limbs expand, which increases the temperature. On the other hand, the body begins to sweat more, which also serves to give off heat and at the same time has a cooling effect through the evaporation of sweat. However, the body's own temperature regulation has the side effect that blood pressure can drop drastically, since the peripheral blood vessels absorb significantly more blood than before. The fluid balance can also become unbalanced because too much sweat is released. The result is considerable circulatory problems, which in the worst case lead to a so-called heat collapse or even heat death.

Heat causes increased fluid loss and a drop in blood pressure The drastic rise in temperature since the beginning of the week is also a considerable burden for the circulation of healthy people. People who are already weakened (for example, the elderly, the chronically ill, cardiovascular patients) are all the more at risk. Typical consequences of overwhelming the body's own heat regulation are the so-called heat exhaustion and a heat collapse. The heat exhaustion is primarily due to the high fluid loss when sweating and at the same time too little fluid intake. The resulting lack of fluid (dehydration) leads to a decrease in the amount of circulating blood and symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. The skin, which initially appeared red when trying to give off more heat, is now pale, the pulse is significantly accelerated, the respiratory rate is increased, and breathing is shallow. If the body temperature rises to over 40 degrees Celsius, the affected person threatens a heat collapse.

Heat collapse: When the circulatory system breaks down under the heat In the event of a heat collapse, the widening of the peripheral blood vessels and the associated redistribution of blood in the body means that the heart only has reduced amounts of blood available for pumping, and the blood pressure drops significantly and finally the brain is no longer adequately supplied with blood. Those affected lose consciousness. Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and a general feeling of weakness may be observed in advance. If the body's own heat regulation is overloaded to such an extent that the body temperature rises to over 42 degrees Celsius, cells increasingly lose their biological function and those affected are at risk of heat death.

Drink a lot, avoid physical exertion, pay attention to sun protection In order to avoid impairment of the organism due to the high outside temperatures, physical stress - especially in the midday sun - should be avoided urgently, the body should be supplied with more fluids and in between should be regularly cooled. In addition to the health impairments due to the rise in temperature, the direct negative effects of solar radiation in the high summer weather conditions should not be underestimated. Without adequate sun protection, there is a risk of severe sunburn, which in turn increases the risk of skin cancer. Excessive exposure to the sun on the neck and head can also cause a so-called sunstroke, which describes an inflammatory reaction of the meninges to the rise in temperature. Those affected suffer from symptoms such as headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck. The latter is a typical characteristic for the irritation of the meninges. In order to prevent health problems caused by the sun's rays, the motto "avoid dressing creams" propagated by the professional association of German dermatologists (BVDD) should be adhered to. The following applies: avoid the sun, cover the body (including the head) with clothing and thoroughly apply cream to the free areas of the skin. (fp)

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Video: What is Heat Stroke? - MEDZCOOL


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