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Updated: May 11, 2013 17:22 IST

Don’t sweat it out

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Watch out for signs of dehydration and exhaustion. Photo: Special Arrangement
Watch out for signs of dehydration and exhaustion. Photo: Special Arrangement

How does one deal with heat exhaustion? The second part of the column on handling common medical emergencies.

How it occurs

Heat exhaustion occurs due to exposure to hot, humid weather and inadequate fluid or electrolyte intake.

Risk factors

Not being acclimatised to hot and humid conditions, vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and increase chances of heat exhaustion.

Who are at risk?

Elderly people

People with high blood pressure

People exercising in the heat

How to recognise?

The person looks exhausted

Profuse sweating

Generalised weakness, fatigue


Dizziness, confusion and disorientation

Pale and clammy skin

Loss of appetite

Muscular cramps

Shallow breathing


Move the person to a cool, shady area.

Switch on the fan or AC

Raise the victim's legs.

Give him/her cold fluids, preferably juice, lemonade with salt and sugar or a sports drink.

Loosen clothing, if it is tight.

Check responsiveness and breathing.

If the victim becomes unconscious or drowsy, place him in the recovery position.

If not breathing, start CPR.


Do not give hot drinks or stimulants.

Do not give anything to eat or drink if the person becomes unconscious.

Extract from Medical Emergency Handbook, VIVO Healthcare, Rs.199.

To buy the book, contact VIVO Healthcare DLF City Club, DLF City Phase 4, Gurgaon 122009. Ph: +91-124-4365848 +91-8860004734. E-mail: or


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