Weekly First-aid Topic: the Common “Unfamiliar Killer” - Thermoplegia
From:Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning

Thermoplegia is an unfamiliar term to us. It is actually severe heatstroke, a fatal disease with high fatality rate. So, what exactly is thermoplegia? Why is it so dangerous? How should we prevent and control it?

In an environment of high temperature and high humidity, human body may suffer from thermoregulatory dysfunction and excessive accumulation of heat, resulting in damage to the nerve organs. High temperatures may also cause cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, kidney disease, heart's heatstroke and solar dermatitis. Thermoplegia is divided into two types, exertional and non-exertional. Exertional thermoplegia is common in young adults who do long-term work, have physical exercise or participate in sports events in an environment of high temperature and humidity. Non-exertional thermoplegia is common in the elderly, children and parturient women with a poor constitution.

Heatstroke is divided into three grades, namely mild, moderate and severe. Mild heat stroke has the symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and acratia. Moderate heat stroke has the symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and acratia accompanied by prolonged high fever. Severe heat stroke is thermoplegia, which can cause such symptoms as high body temperature (above 40℃), dry and hot skin with no sweat, mental disorders and organ failure, etc.

When giving first aid treatment to a "thermoplegia" patient, you should transfer the patient to a cool and ventilated place quickly, call 120 emergency telephone or send the patient to a hospital for medical treatment, perform physical cooling and prevent damage from convulsion.

Provided by Zhao Jian from Beijing First Aid Center