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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Heat Taking Is Taking It's Toll

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Heat Exhaustion is becoming one of the highest searches on NHS Website. Sadly, this is the reason that Chesil Radio’s Hot Weather Protocol is brought in.

Visits looking this up accounted for one visit every six seconds, with figures released by NHS England, there were 109,096 visits to look up heat exhaustion and heatstroke in the past 7 days, up from just 34,066 the week before. Also people were looking up heat rash or prickly heat, doubling too.

Last week the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office extended a heat-health alert across England until at least 9am on Monday. The yellow alert is for people over the age of 65 or with pre-existing health conditions, which sadly I am in the second of these groups and have been struggling inside and out.

Heat exhaustion can be helped by getting out of the sun and cooling down in some way within 30 minutes. But if it turns into heatstroke it must be treated as an emergency. The weather has seen a high demand on the NHS in many parts of the country and many including England’s top doctor Professor Sir Stephen Powis asking the public to be sensible in the warm weather, especially as strikes with junior doctors recently.

Duncan Burton, NHS England’s Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, said: “We know there is a high risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke during hot weather especially among children, older people and those with long-term conditions like diabetes or heart problems.
“The NHS website has a range of useful information pages aimed at helping people keep themselves and their loved ones safe during hot weather.
“Keeping the body cool and drinking plenty of fluids is vitally important, as well as dressing sensibly, using high-factor sunscreen and limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun to avoid the risk of sunburn and to prevent skin cancer.
“With heat exhaustion, it is important to cool the person down, hydrate them and see if their condition improves after 30 minutes. If it doesn’t, we would always advise seeking medical attention by calling 111 or 999 in an emergency.”

Heat exhaustion includes tiredness, dizziness, feeling sick and a fast breathing or heartbeat. To cool down:

· Drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising.

· Take cool baths and showers.

· Wear light-coloured, loose clothing.

· Sprinkle water over skin or clothes.

· Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm.

· Avoid excess alcohol.

· Avoid extreme exercise.

Advice on treating heat rash includes keeping skin cool, so you do not sweat and irritate the rash, applying something cold, such as a damp cloth or ice wrapped in a tea towel. Don’t scratch the rash, try tapping or patting the area.

For more information visit the NHS Website:

However in extreme circumstances it may be necessary to dial 999.

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