Heatstroke, also known as sunstroke is a predictable and preventable disease but also a medical emergency. It was long believed that heat strokes only rarely lead to permanent deficits and that convalescence is almost complete. However, various studies have shown that heatstroke can lead to permanent damage to so some functions of the body. This makes its treatment critical and necessitates immediate care.
Understanding doctors’ perception of heatstroke and its management
Below is the graphical presentation of the survey
A total of 311 doctors participated in the survey, including 41% general practitioners, 34% others, 17% diabetologist, 3% pharmacologist, 3% pediatricians, and 2% dentists
Our survey revealed that a majority of doctors frequently encounter elderly patients with heatstroke, this might be due to decreased capacity of the aging body to adapt to temperature changes.
Hypertension was a commonly associated condition with heatstroke. Physicians should particularly look for signs of dehydration and heatstroke in vulnerable people. A majority of doctors responded that most of the patients were unaware of the symptoms of heatstroke, which was the major hurdle in treatment-. Primary care centers should strive to educate patients and their family members about the symptoms of heatstroke as immediate intervention is needed. Patients using diuretics were more vulnerable to heatstroke. Multiple studies have shown proper hydration and limited physical exertion in hot environments avoid heatstroke in such vulnerable patients. Doctors responded that giving fluids if the patient is conscious and cooling the person (with water, ice packs, etc.) are recommended first aids for heatstroke. First aid plays a vital role in heatstroke and the vulnerable patient’s family must be aware of the same.