Watch above: Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke could save your life. Wendy Winiewski finds out what the symptoms are and what can be done to beat the heat.
SASKATOON – All of southern Saskatchewan along with central portions of the province remain under a special weather advisory due to extreme heat. Environment Canada issued the statement at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
With temperatures hovering above 30 degrees and humidity pushing the mercury near 40, the heat is intense – making heat exhaustion and heat stroke a real possibility.
On Wednesday, Global meteorologist Peter Quinlan calculated Saskatchewan as one of the hottest places on earth this week.
Owner of Rapid Roofing Solutions, Ryan McClelland, is beaded with sweat at 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning. “Sometimes it feels like you’re in a sauna,” said McClelland.
After 19 years shingling roofs, McClelland admits this summer, has been challenging.
“I’ve almost taken every afternoon off this week because it’s too hot.” Against the wishes of his family, this leaves him no other option than evening work.
“Come back at 5 p.m. and it’s still hot but it’s workable,” explained McClelland.
At 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, a 20-year-old man repairing the roof of Petro Canada on Preston Avenue near Market Mall, lost consciousness. At the time it was 28 degrees.
“Intravenous fluids were put into him at the scene by medical personnel,” explained Brian Conway with the Saskatoon Fire Department.
“The ambulance was there and we performed the rescue by lowering him with the aerial ladder.”
According to Conway, the man regained consciousness before arriving at hospital.
“With heat exhaustion we’re talking about just tiredness, maybe feeling a bit dizzy,” said Deputy Medical Health Officer Michael Schwandt.
“Heat stroke itself is when we see those symptoms like loss of consciousness, potentially even seizures so once we get to the stage of loss of consciousness or even confusion, we’re really into the territory of heat stroke.”
Heat stroke can lead to organ damage including damage to the brain and heart cautioned Schwandt.
“We should really be trying to cool off or stay well hydrated before noticing any severe symptoms,” he said.
It’s a practice McClelland lives by. “Sit down, take a break, find some shade, drink lots of water,” he advised.
A cool bath or shower can also assist in halting heat exhaustion, stopping the onset of heat stroke.
Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety has set the following hot conditions guideline: