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Health and the Heat - I have queries!

(22 Posts)
Alie2Oxon Sun 07-Aug-22 15:05:18

On the 19th July, my daughter S was caught arriving in Birmingham in the heatwave in the afternoon. She had eaten very little on the way and couldn't get a taxi to the hotel, so had to walk. She had drunk a lot of bottled water - as the warnings told us to do.

At the hotel she became very ill, phoned 999 asking for an ambulance; was told it could take six hours! The staff may also have phoned.At about 2am it apparently arrived, but she was unconscious and remembers nothing until she woke up in the ICU.

She was found to have a very low sodium (a blood electrolyte) level in her blood and had been having seizures when found. Doctors call this hyponatremia.
From Wikipedia : "Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma." And it can be fatal.

She has managed to get back, yesterday, to where she is living in the north, in spite of still having many of the 'mild' symptoms.

Apparently there was a warning put out to doctors on that day. why only to doctors?
Why was there no warning to the general public??

Why did the hotel have no emergency bell in the room?

And why was S discharged a week later while she was still not able to look after herself? (hardly able to walk.)

And how many other people have suffered the same thing?
Who on this forum has heard of this?

The warning needed was that one should not go on drinking water without taking sodium salt in some way. One can buy electrolyte replacement sachets. You can look online and see how to make an electrolyte drink.

We are not finished with the hot summer yet.

geekesse Sun 07-Aug-22 15:10:46

A can of fizzy pop with a pinch of salt provides approximately the right combination of salt and glucose in a sterile solution to act as a rehydrating fluid, and both are available in any cafe. During our years living in desert climates before western medicine was easily available, this was the company doctor’s advice.

Esmay Sun 07-Aug-22 17:06:22

Yes .
I went to a garden party in a silk trouser suit .
Sheer vanity .
Everyone else was wearing cotton dresses .
I stood for a long time in the hot part of the garden .
Other people were sitting in the shade .
I'd drank some wine ,then orange juice and a lot of water.

Later on indoors I drank tea .

I went to get out of bed and ended up on the floor - sick , dizzy , head throbbing and the room was spinning .

I had heat stroke .

It would have been far better if I'd eaten lots of salty crisps with the water and juice apart from the stupid choice of outfit and perhaps joined the other ladies in the shade .

MiniMoon Sun 07-Aug-22 17:35:32

Drinking too much water is just as dangerous to health as drinking too little, it dilutes the sodium in your bloodstream and upsets your electrolyte balance. The hospital must have believed that your daughter could manage by herself or she wouldn't have been discharged.
When my children were little and had gastric upsets our GP recommend that they drink flat Coca-Cola which apparently has the teach elements needed to keep electrolyte balance correct. I have to say that it put them off drinking Coke for the rest of their lives

MiniMoon Sun 07-Aug-22 17:36:05

Trace not teach!

MerylStreep Sun 07-Aug-22 17:41:35

If you have an upset and don’t have electrolytes at home, or coke, the water from boiled rice will do the trick.

SueDonim Sun 07-Aug-22 17:56:24

I thought most people knew that drinking too much water was bad for you?

There’s an easily made electrolyte drink you can have instead of plain water. It’s also useful for tummy upsets.

Dissolve teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in one litre of water. Keep Refrigerated and make a fresh batch every 24 hours.

SueDonim Sun 07-Aug-22 17:56:44

six teaspoons of sugar.

Pittcity Sun 07-Aug-22 18:02:01

I make a similar mix SueD I use cooled boiled water for it to kill any impurities too.

merlotgran Sun 07-Aug-22 18:10:22

Orange juice and a bag of ready salted crisps is good for a quick fix if you’re feeling the effects of the heat.

SueDonim Sun 07-Aug-22 18:26:57

We have excellent water here, thankfully, Pittcity but I used to used boiled and cooled water when we lived in developing world countries.

I’ve never needed to make it in the US but where my son lives, their tap water isn’t fit for drinking! ?

Chestnut Sun 07-Aug-22 18:38:07

I think I'd rather have a can of Coke and a bag of salty crisps!

Witzend Sun 07-Aug-22 18:46:39

When we lived in the Middle East, salt tablet were routinely supplied by dh’s company. They were certainly needed during a certain time in the summer when it wasn’t just stinking hot, but there was also around 100% humidity. Many of the staff, inc. dh, had to spent much of the day out of doors.

I was surprised when dh and I were in Darwin (Oz) a few years ago, during a very hot and incredibly humid period, when we were endlessly exhorted to drink loads of water, but nobody mentioned salt - a bit of a dirty word nowadays.

At one point (on a tour of Kakadu) I started to feel very tired and weak, but then remembered the salt tablets we used to take. Plenty of salt on my chips at lunchtime and I was soon fine again,

merlotgran Sun 07-Aug-22 19:08:29

I grew up in the Middle East and children were encouraged to have a salt tablet with fruit juice (disgusting powdered stuff) before going to school. They would often be covered in chocolate which made us hate them even more.

My Dad had the right idea though. We all loved peanut butter on toast so he’d sprinkle salt on each slice because, ‘It’ll stop it sticking to the roof of your mouth.’

It was a tasty way of getting salt inside us and I still sprinkle salt on peanut butter to this day.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 07-Aug-22 19:38:35

I lived in the Far East for a while as a child and I can remember taking a daily salt tablet. The other thing to notice, if you are sweating on your face and sweat gets into your eyes and irritates them, then you are losing salt and need to replace it. Always worked for me.

welbeck Sun 07-Aug-22 19:51:08

i thought this was quite well known.
hope your DD is feeling better now.
it's lesson learned i guess.

cathieb Sun 07-Aug-22 20:06:54

I've lived in India and Pakistan. If we'd sweated a lot and had muscle cramps we'd stir half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of water and sip it. If we couldn'taste the salt it was apparently a sign of salt deficiency so we' d then add salt to food, yoghurt and drinks. Seemed to work!

Nannagarra Sun 07-Aug-22 21:19:30

When my DC were unwell I used to buy electrolyte replacement sachets, then I was advised to use flat lemonade.
Is it as effective as flat Cola?

Cs783 Sun 07-Aug-22 22:03:50

Thank you all for this alert/ reminder and advice. A good headline, powerful personal account, and helpful comments. Note taken.

BigBertha1 Sun 07-Aug-22 22:28:59

My SIL I had been suffering from hyponatraemia in hospital it has been corrected now

MayBee70 Sun 07-Aug-22 22:39:02


When my DC were unwell I used to buy electrolyte replacement sachets, then I was advised to use flat lemonade.
Is it as effective as flat Cola?

I assume it isn’t sugar free coke or lemonade? I must remember to buy some dioralyte sachets. I always used to have some in the cupboard.

geekesse Sun 07-Aug-22 23:00:56

If you’re replacing fluids lost be diarrhoea or vomiting, flat fizzy pop isn’t a bad idea, but if your tummy is ok, fizzy + salt is fine.