Heat Exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke which is characterised by high fever, absence of sweating, thirst, a rapid pulse, confusion and, sometimes, loss of consciousness.
Heat exhaustion-Aanshughata Jwara- and heat stroke- Aanshughata sannipata- are maladies endemic to tropical climates. In India this disorders strike people in summer when the temperature goes up; those living or moving about in the open without proper clothing or precautions are more susceptible than others.
Profuse sweating due to atmospheric heat leads to a severe loss of vital salts in the body and a condition known as heat exhaustion develops in which the patient feels faint and may even fall in a swoon. And the dehydration may lead to unconsciousness.
The fever of heat stroke comes on suddenly; the temperature rises from 106*F to 108F. Annual temperature sometimes touches 112*F. The severe ache in the body, particularly the head, confusion, cramps, a sense of impending doom and loss of consciousness follow. If immediate steps are not taken, the patient may die.
In case the temperature is over 104* and appears to rise, immediate steps should be taken. The patient must be divested of all his clothes and his body wrapped in a sheet soaked in iced water. Alternatively, he should be laid under a shower bath and the body should be cooled till the temperature returns to 102*F. When it starts falling and the pulse shows signs of weakness, Mritsanjivani Sura(50 to 75 ml) should be given.
The following prescription is recommended:
Ratneshwar Rasa 120mg.
Chandanadi Churna 240ml.
Mahashishir Panak should be given to the patient in 10 ml doses every half an hour.
The old proverb prevention is better than cure applies more to heat stroke than to any other malady. One should take care to take water at frequent intervals during summer.
A little salt may be added to it before one goes outdoors in the summer sun. That would keep the balance of the vital salts in the body in proper shape.
The head and the back of the neck must be covered with a thick cloth. Soup made of raw mangoes taken once in the day helps in preventing heat stroke. The body fluids must be allowed to fall below a certain minimum which must happen when one sweats profusely and that is why more liquids should be taken, even if one does not feel thirsty.