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Trauma centre reports spurt in heat-related illness.

Byline: Nina Muslim, Staff Reporter

Dubai: The number of Patients with heat-related ailments is increasing, the Rashid Hospital Trauma Centre noted. Doctors expect the number of cases to increase sharply.

Currently, most of the cases trauma and emergency doctors are receiving are from those arising from leisure activities, such as from fishing, golfing and sunbathing. The centre keeps tracks heat cases received during the summer annually.

"We get golfers and sunbathers during the weekends. Even those who are acclimatised to the weather should take care," said Dr G.Y. Naroo, medical specialist in-charge of the emergency department at the centre.

To illustrate his point, Dr Naroo told Gulf News about a Gulf Arab patient who came in a few days ago with first-degree burns on his scalp.

"The man went fishing from 10am to 4pm, forgot his hat and got burnt. He's bald so it made it worse," he said.

"People will just continue their activity. They don't take precautions. They become complacent," he added.

Dr Naroo said everyone who has to venture outdoors in the heat should cover themselves up and drink liquids every two hours, be it for leisure or work.

"Wear a hat, sunglasses, put on sunblock. And drink even if you are not thirsty. Try not to be in the heat for too long," he advised Gulf News readers.

Doctors also advise people to drink mineral water, fruit juices or a sports drink as they contain electrolytes that prevent heat exhaustion.

He urged people to avoid soft drinks as they contained sugar and caffeine that dehydrates the body.

The most vulnerable people are children, the elderly and those on medication. Symptoms people should be on the watch-out for include fatigue, nausea, "feeling feverish" and muscle pain.

Dr Bassam Jabbour, emergency physician at the centre, said children should never be left in the car during hot summer days, even to run short errands.

"People cannot leave their children in the car and lock it. They should always their kids out with them because the car can heat up fast," he said.

He added children can easily get dehydrated so they must have water or fruit juices drink almost continuously. Dr Naroo warned people suffering from asthma and other allergies to take precautions as the hot season usually produces several dusty days.

"Avoid activities outdoors on dusty days and keep your medicines close by," he said.

"If asthmatic people get an attack, their [condition] can deteriorate fast," he added.

He also said the change of weather could affect some people, making them vulnerable to colds and flu.

Dr Naroo also advised people to take all the necessary precautions and seek medical advice in the event of them falling sick.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 29, 2009
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