Hot Weather and Heart Attacks

Now that it is officially summer, elderly folks and those at risk for heart attacks need to be even more vigilant about their health and the situations they find themselves in as the temperatures rise.


If you know you are going to be watching a baseball game or going to a park, make sure you bring plenty of water, make sure you find the shady spots and that there is plenty of seating. Sometimes what you thought was going to be a short walk to the beach from the car may end up being longer if you hadn’t anticipated the crowds.  If you are traipsing for ½ a mile with the sun beating down on you, and your water bottle not accessible, this could be disastrous.


Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration can come over you without you even being aware. The risk increases as the humidity levels increase.


As we age people tend to retain less water, this means that replenishing it is even more important. Drinking up to 8 glasses a day is important and even more if you are in a hot environment.


Dehydration is very serious, especially with the elderly. The first sign of dehydration are cramps, typically in the legs and abdomen, which can then be followed by heat exhaustion.  Heat exhaustion can make a person feel dizzy, become flushed and experience nausea. This could lead to heat stroke. The body, in its attempt to lose heat, begins to increase sweating. This loss of liquid leads to dehydration, which reduces the amount of blood. With a reduced amount of blood, the heart needs to work harder to circulate this blood which can lead to a heart attack.


If you are around a person who is suffering from dehydration, make sure to administer some liquid and get them into a cool place. Since becoming thirsty is a delayed response to dehydration do not wait for them to ask for a drink of water.


Orange County CPR Classes will not only train your group in basic life support and CPR but will also educate you on how a person, who is dehydrated or about to have a heart attack presents in certain situations and what you can do to prevent a serious problem.

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