UAE doctors caution against heat exhaustion risks as Temperatures Approach 50°C

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The UAE's hot temperatures, which reached as high as 49.9ºC in certain regions on Friday, have raised concerns about the potential health hazards associated with heat-related illnesses.

Extreme temperatures spark concerns

Sweltering temperatures in the UAE, reaching nearly 49.9ºC in some areas, have prompted serious concerns about heat-related illnesses among residents. The high heat levels, especially during the summer months, pose significant health risks, particularly for those exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.

Health Alerts and Precautions

Residents are advised to take precautionary measures against rising cases of heat stroke and heat exhaustion amidst the persistently harsh summer weather. The combination of high temperatures and humidity increases the likelihood of heat-related illnesses, making it crucial for individuals to stay hydrated, wear light clothing, and avoid prolonged outdoor activities during peak heat hours.

Recent cases at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi and Thumbay University Hospital in Ajman illustrate the severity of heat-related conditions among residents. These incidents underscore the importance of awareness and proactive measures in mitigating the impact of extreme heat on public health.

A 42-year-old construction worker was admitted with severe symptoms including muscle cramps, dehydration, altered sensorium, and low blood pressure. His condition was critical, with indications of acute kidney injury due to severe dehydration. This case highlights the vulnerability of outdoor workers, who are at higher risk of heat-related illnesses due to their prolonged exposure to the elements.

In Ajman, a 30-year-old fabricator experienced weakness, cramps, stiffness, headaches, and nausea while working outdoors. His dehydration was exacerbated by limited access to water in a cramped work environment. Prompt medical intervention at Thumbay University Hospital helped stabilize his condition, emphasizing the importance of early recognition and treatment of heat-related symptoms.

Understanding Heat Exhaustion

Both cases were diagnosed as heat exhaustion, where the body's cooling mechanisms fail, leading to overheating. Heat exhaustion can progress rapidly if not addressed promptly, potentially escalating to a life-threatening heat stroke. Fortunately, both patients responded well to treatment and were discharged after 48 hours of intensive medical care.

Doctors emphasize the spectrum of heat-related illnesses, from mild heat cramps to severe heat exhaustion and potentially fatal heat stroke. Heat stroke, characterized by a body temperature above 40 °C, requires immediate medical attention to prevent organ damage and other serious complications.

Authorities stress the importance of staying hydrated, avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, and taking breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas, particularly for outdoor workers and vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young children. Public awareness campaigns play a crucial role in educating residents about heat safety measures and recognizing early signs of heat-related illnesses.

UAE health authorities continue to educate the public on heat safety measures, aiming to mitigate risks during extreme summer temperatures and ensure community well-being. Regular updates and advisories are provided to help residents and businesses adapt to and manage the challenges posed by the region's intense climate conditions.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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