Heatwave Advice
Heatwave Advice

We are advising staff and service users to take precautions during this heatwave.

Monitor residents

  • Check body temperature, heart and breathing rates, blood pressure and hydration levels.
  • Watch for any changes in behaviour, especially excessive drowsiness.
  • Watch for signs of headache, unusual tiredness, weakness, giddiness, disorientation or sleeping problems.

Reduce the health risks of heat

  • Encourage service users to remain in the coolest parts of the house as much as possible.
  • Move service users so that each spends time in the cool areas (below 26ºC) – give priority and extra time to high-risk service users or any showing signs of distress (including increased body temperature). For patients who can’t be moved, or for whom a move might be too disorienting, take actions to cool them down (for example, liquids, cool wipes) and enhance surveillance.
  • Monitor service users’ fluid intake, providing regular cold drinks, particularly if they are not always able to drink unaided; remember the importance of increasing fluid intake during periods of high temperature to reduce the risk of blood stream infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria. Oral rehydration salts may be suggested for those on high doses of diuretics; bananas, orange juice and occasional salty snacks can also help replace salts lost due to sweating.
  • Advise service users to avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, colas), very sweet drinks and alcohol.
  • Encourage service users to wear light, loose cotton clothes to absorb sweat and prevent skin irritation.
  • Regularly sprinkle or spray cool water on exposed parts of the body – a damp cloth on the back of the neck helps with temperature regulation.
  • Arrange cool showers or baths, if possible.

Emergency treatment

If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 999.

While waiting for the ambulance:

  1. Take the person’s temperature.
  2. If possible, move them somewhere cooler.
  3. Cool them down as quickly as possible by giving them a cool shower, sprinkling them with water or wrapping them in a damp sheet, and using a fan to create an air current.
  4. Encourage them to drink fluids if they are conscious.
  5. Give them a saline drip and oxygen if they are unwell.
  6. Do not give them aspirin or paracetamol.

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