FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How is the normal body temperature maintained?
- What is Heat Stress?
- What are the dangers from Heat Stress?
- What are the symptoms of Heat Stress?
- Why sodium is so important? What is role of Sodium in the body?
- What first aid can be given to a person affected due to Heat Stress?
- How Prolyte improves the Productivity & Safety at workplace?
1.How is the normal body temperature maintained?
We human beings are warm blooded animals. It means that whatever may be the outside temperature, hot or cold, our body temp always remains constant in a narrow range of 37 oC plus/minus 1 degree Celsius. (In Fahrenheit it will be between 98.6 to 99.9oF.)
Generally, we produce sweat when the body temperature increases due to any reason such as exercise, physical work etc. As the moving air (wind) evaporates the sweat, the body cools down & the temperature is brought back to normal again.
2.What is Heat Stress?
If there are several factors contributing at the same time to increase the body temperature, such as,
- Continuous Heavy Physical work for long hours directly under the sun
- Hot summer season & High Humidity
- Improper ventilation or no wind
- Working near Heat generating sources etc.,
then, the net amount of heat gained is much higher than the amount of heat the body can lose in a given time by sweating. If this continues the body will lose large amounts of salts & water resulting in a variety of symptoms & illnesses together called as Heat Stress.
Heat Stress is recognized as an important potential health hazard at the workplace by various international Occupational Health & Safety Organizations.
3.What are the dangers from Heat Stress?
60% of the human body is composed of water. Under normal conditions, we lose up to 2 ltrs of sweat per day. But working under extreme conditions of temp & humidity, as they exist in the UAE from May to August, we can lose up to 2ltrs of sweat within 1 hr. We all know that sweat is salty & its major components are water & salt. Hence besides Water, sweat can also take with it upto 3.5gm of salts per Litre and so the body also loses Sodium in the sweat, which is an important electrolyte in the body.
Such excessive sweating in extreme temp conditions, can lead to two conditions,
- DEHYDRATION which is excessive loss of water &
- HYPONATREMIA which is low levels of Sodium in the blood due to loss of salt from the body. If sodium levels in the blood falls below 120 mmoles/ltr then it can lead to coma and death due to heart failure.
4.What are the symptoms of Heat Stress?
We assume that all the symptoms of heat exhaustion are due to dehydration. But some of them are actually due to hyponatremia.
Symptoms due to Dehydration: Excessive thirst, dry mouth & thick saliva and headache are common symptoms of dehydration at early stages. Slowly nausea sets in, followed by vomiting. Urine becomes darker & scantier and person may not pass urine for 6-7 hours. Loss of body water, leads to low blood pressure, known as hypotension. This leads to giddiness & fainting due to heat syncope.
Symptoms due to Hyponatremia: The muscle cramps, severe fatigue & drowsiness on the other hand are result of Hyponatremia which is more dangerous than dehydration. If sodium levels continue to decrease in the blood the attentiveness of the person starts reducing. He becomes irritable, there are memory lapses, mental confusion, sometimes disorientation leading to errors in the work. Muscle cramps & weakness makes the labors to lose their grip on the tools. If sodium is not replenished at this level also, then it can lead to seizures, cardiac failure, coma & death. Taking plain water will not correct the symptoms of hyponatremia.
5.Why sodium is so important? What is role of Sodium in the body?
Sodium is an important electrolyte and is necessary to conduct electrical impulses from the brain to muscles and vice-versa. Sodium is very essential for normal functioning of the muscles. If we reduce current passing through bulb, it becomes dim & may get switched off. Similarly brain gets switched off & muscles stop functioning when sodium levels fall below normal levels.
6.What first aid can be given to a person affected due to Heat Stress?
The first thing to do is to Immediately move the person to a cool shaded area.
Remove any excess clothing or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) he is wearing such as Helmet or Boots, so that sweat can evaporate. Any tight clothing he is wearing may be loosened.
Make the person to lie down & raise his legs slightly so that blood circulation to the brain improves. If the person is vomiting then make him to lie on his side.
Arrange a fan near the person to blow air. If it is not possible to do so then manual fanning with some flat object will also help.
Cool his body by applying a wet cloth or sponge especially on the forehead, neck, arms, groins and soles of hand & feet.
If the person recovers or regains his conscious then make him sit down and give cool electrolyte fluid like Prolyte sip by sip. Drinking too much all of a sudden can make him vomit. Avoid hot or caffeinated beverages.
If it is a case of heat syncope, person recovers very fast, within 10 -15 minutes. But if it is case of heat exhaustion, then he may take 2-4 of hours to fully recover because even if person drinks lot of water and electrolytes it takes quite some time for it to be absorbed and reach all the vital organs. Heat exhaustion may also rapidly turn into heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek immediate medical attention.
Heat stroke is a serious and potentially fatal condition that requires immediate medical attention. Heat stroke occurs when the body's heat-regulating system breaks down, sweating stops because the body is no more able to produce sweat due to losses of water, and body temperature rises significantly. Heat Stroke is a medical emergency & immediately call for ambulance or medical care while providing first aid.
7 . How Prolyte improves the Productivity & Safety at workplace?
Prolyte is based on WHO recommended formula that provides fastest & safest hydration by a mechanism called Glucose Solute Co-Transport Coupling Mechanism. In addition to hydrating the body it also corrects the hyponatremia since it replenishes salts and provides the important electryolytes such as Sodium & Potassium.
Because Prolyte can address the twin problems of Heat Stress by correcting both Dehydration & also Hyponatremia it improves the Productivity & Safety at workplace.