Eid Al Adha 2022: How to celebrate safely during peak summer, avoid heat exhaustion

Doctors advise residents to avoid outdoor activities from 11am to 4pm



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File

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Thu 7 Jul 2022, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jul 2022, 10:52 PM

UAE residents are looking forward and are all set to celebrate Eid Al Adha with family and friends during the four-day long holiday.

However, healthcare practitioners in the country have urged residents to be cautious while enjoying the festivities and remain indoors, considering the rise in the temperature.

“While there is a tendency to spend time outdoors during the holidays, make sure it is not during peak heat hours," said Dr Lemia Elfatih Abdalla Salim, specialist - emergency medicine, Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi.

As Eid Al Adha this year is being celebrated in peak summer, “It is advised that residents take note of the summer and plan their outdoor activities accordingly. It is advisable that we avoid any outdoor activities from 11am to 4pm in the evening,” said Dr Hiba Eljaily Elhussain Dafa Alla, general practitioner, emergency medicine, Aster Hospital Cedars, Jabel Ali.

Medicos have also shared tips for safe Eid festivities:

  • Avoid dehydration and keep our body cool
  • Avoid spending time directly under the sunlight
  • When visiting public spaces, make sure to visit in the early hours or after sundown
  • Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated
  • Enjoy water-rich foods like fruits and cooling beverages during meals
  • Stick to all Covid preventive measures
  • Wear a mask
  • Keep social distancing
  • Keep sanitising your hands
  • Avoiding outdoor activities

Several hospitals have recorded people falling ill due to rising temperatures.

Dr Lemia Elfatih Abdalla Salim, specialist - emergency medicine, Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi. Photo: Supplied
Dr Lemia Elfatih Abdalla Salim, specialist - emergency medicine, Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi. Photo: Supplied

“We have been seeing cases of heat exhaustion since the rise in temperature after the onset of summer, and the major patients are people who work outdoors,” said Dr Elfatih.

“However, the number of serious cases of heat strokes has been reduced significantly due to mid-day break.”

Dr Eljaily said that cases of heat strokes were also reported at Aster Hospitals. “We are witnessing cases, especially those who work outdoor, reporting to the emergency department of the hospital hit by a heat stroke.” She also praised the government’s initiatives of providing rest during peak times.

Dr Hiba Eljaily Elhussain Dafa Alla, general practitioner, emergency medicine, Aster Hospital Cedars, Jabel Ali. Photo: Supplied
Dr Hiba Eljaily Elhussain Dafa Alla, general practitioner, emergency medicine, Aster Hospital Cedars, Jabel Ali. Photo: Supplied

Medicos say that heat stroke can be deadly, and one must be wary of walking or working under the burning sun during the summer. "During a heat stroke, the body's temperature rises rapidly and does not cool down. It is a medical emergency and can affect any person irrespective of age and gender," said Dr Eljaily.

Doctors say sweating is a mechanism that helps the body to cool down when the temperature rises. However, in the case of heat strokes, sweating does not help in cooling down the body. The temperatures rise beyond the capacity of sweating to cool the body down.

Doctors say that there are four types of illnesses related to heat exposure.

  • Heat rashes and heat muscle cramps
  • Heat syncope (heat-related dizziness)
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Sunstroke or heat stroke.

“People suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke require immediate medical attention. This is very important to avoid serious complications. The patient's body temperature is brought down at the hospital through cold water sponging and administering intravenous electrolytes,” said Dr Eljaily.

Symptoms of heat stroke

  • Heavy sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Faintness
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid pulse
  • Body pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fast breathing or pulse
  • Cramps in the arms, legs, and stomach.

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“These cases are treated in the hospital regularly. On the other hand, cases of severe heat strokes present with symptoms of heart pain, acute kidney failure, etc.,” said Dr Elfatih.

“Prevention is the best approach to avoiding heat-related illness. Do not wear tight clothing; instead, wear loose-fitting and light-coloured clothes. Avoid activities directly under sunlight, especially at noon. Protect yourself by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses,” said Dr Eljaily.

If the symptoms persist for over 30 mins, “It is likely that they are experiencing heat exhaustion,” said Dr Eljaily. In that case, “the person should be rushed to a hospital as it demands emergency medical attention.”

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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