PhilHealth warns of dangers of heat stroke

<p>The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation advises the public to make it a habit to drink water to avoid heat stroke <em>(File photo)</em></p>

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation advises the public to make it a habit to drink water to avoid heat stroke (File photo)

MANILA – With the onset of the dry season, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) advised the public to take necessary precautions to avoid heat stroke.

“Hindi po biro ang heat stroke dahil maaari po itong magdulot ng permanent damage sa utak at iba pang vital organs tulad ng puso at kidneys, kaya iwasan po sana nating magbababad sa init (Heat stroke is no joke because it can cause permanent damage to the brain and other vital organs such as the heart and kidneys, so let's avoid soaking in the heat),” PhilHealth acting president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said in a news release on Sunday.

He advised the public to avoid drinking hot beverages like coffee and tea when the weather is too hot.

“Ugaliin din po nating uminom ng tubig para hindi tayo ma-dehydrate (Let’s make it a habit to drink water so we don’t get dehydrated),” he added.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive emergency treatment.

Heat stroke occurs when core body temperature rises to 41°C or higher and the body is unable to cool down.

Symptoms may include confusion, altered mental status and slurred speech; loss of consciousness; hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; seizures; and very high body temperature.

“Those with the highest risk for heat stroke are the elderly, the very young, and people with chronic diseases. Dalhin po agad sa ospital ang sinumang nagpapakita ng sintomas ng heat stroke (Take anyone showing symptoms of heat stroke to the hospital immediately),” Ledesma said.

Ledesma reminded the public that the state insurer covers confinement for heat stroke, sunstroke and heat exhaustion at PHP6,500, including PHP4,550 for hospital fees, and PHP1,950 for professional fees.

“Bilang paunang lunas ay maaari po tayong mag-apply ng basang bimpo o tuwalya sa ulo, leeg, kili-kili at singit. Kung maaari ay bigyan din po ng cold water o ice bath ang pasyente upang mapababa ang kanyang body temperature (As a first aid we can apply a wet towel to the head, neck, armpits and groin. If possible, give the patient a cold water or ice bath to lower his body temperature),” he said. (PNA)