Health experts have suggested people stay indoors and avoid exposing themselves to the scorching sun to avoid heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
According to experts at various hospitals in the city, the current heatwave may cause severe exertion that could lead to heatstroke and result in serious problems.
They advised people to maximise their intake of fluids, especially during Iftar and Sehri in Ramazan.
“The human body requires (more) liquids in the summer,” said Hayatabad Medical Complex’s Dr Amir Taj.
Even though initially sweating occurs to cool the body down, at some point the body is unable to cool itself and “that’s when people become victims of heatstroke.”
Taj said if someone has been exposed to the heat and is feeling faint or disoriented, has a headache or is sweating heavily, he or she must be given liquids or at least salts before being rushed to a medical facility.
“When we receive people in such a condition, first their body temperature is checked and then emergency treatment is provided,” Dr Taj said. He also advised people to shower repeatedly to beat the heat.
Other symptoms include lack of sweating despite the heat, red or hot skin, muscle weakness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, abnormal breathing and/or disorientation.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government declared an emergency Sunday night as the temperature rose to alarming levels in the city. The orders were sent out after temperature was recorded at a sweltering 42 degrees Celsius.
Earlier the same day, there were rumours that around 1,450 people had been brought to three major hospitals in the city. The information, which turned out to be false, did manage to stir panic among locals and the health department.
Spokespersons for Peshawar’s major hospitals said the number of patients was routine with only a handful coming in with heat-related problems.
The K-P government, however, issued directives to set up extra beds, drips and other medicines to deal with the possible heatstroke patients.
“We have ordered medical facilities to be prepared to meet the influx of heatstroke patients, if any,” said K-P Health Secretary Mushtaq Jadoon. However, he stressed the situation was completely normal and reports of hundreds of heatstroke victims at hospitals were baseless.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2015.
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