People living with heart disease are vulnerable in very hot weather and need to be extra careful.
People living with heart disease or those who have had a stroke need to be extra careful in the summer as very hot temperatures can put an extra strain on the heart and circulation. Therefore, with the recent high temperatures both at home and abroad it’s important to take precautions to protect your heart.
Extremely hot weather can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. According to the HSE heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heat stroke it needs to be treated as an emergency. The main symptoms of heat stroke are:
feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
not sweating even while feeling too hot
a high temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or above
fast breathing or shortness of breath
a fit (seizure)
loss of consciousness
If you believe someone is suffering from heatstroke, CALL 999 or 112. More information in relation to heat exhaustion and heat stroke is available on the HSE website.
Get the best out of the lovely weather while staying safe and healthy
In order to stay cool and safe in the summer the HSE has issued the following advice:
Minimise unnecessary heating – turn off central heating, electrical equipment and lights that are not needed.
Keep out the sun between 11am to 3pm – stay in the shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight.
If you have to go outdoors, protect your skin by using shade, wearing clothing that covers the skin, a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of 30+ for adults and 50+ for children.
Use natural ventilation such as opening windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside (e.g. at night) and where it is safe, secure, and feasible to do so.
Increase air flow through buildings wherever possible.
Evaporative cooling – dampening your skin may help keep you cool.
If you are using air conditioning, make sure it is using a fresh air supply, which is important to prevent spread of Covid-19.
Electric fans need to be used with caution, as they may not be safe for higher temperatures and should not be used where a person may be incubating or a case of Covid-19.
Make sure you have enough water to drink. It is important to stay hydrated.
You might like to leave drinks in the fridge.
An adult needs approximately 2 litres of liquid over 24 hours. This may be less for smaller people or those with medical conditions.
Drink more fluids when you feel any dehydration symptoms. The best fluids to drink are water or oral rehydration sachets – chat to your pharmacist about how to use these safely.
Take care of yourself but also those around you, especially people with underlying health conditions or heart conditions as they are most at risk. Check on your family and friends when possible and ensure they are cool and comfortable. Get the best out of the lovely weather while staying safe and healthy.