Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Revise your knowledge about Armpit Test

In the month of Jyestha, days are the longest in the year and the summer is at its peak. Hence, cases of heat cramp, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are expected. This trend will continue in the month of Ashadh with the rise in heat index, though the overall temperature of the environment may be low but the humidity will be high.

It is the heat index which decides occurrence of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. With high humidity, the heat index may be much higher in the presence of relatively low environmental temperature.

One should differentiate between heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In heat stroke, the internal temperature may be very high and may not respond to injectible or oral paracetamol. In such cases, the temperature of the body needs to be lowered over minutes and not hours. Clinically, both heat exhaustion and heat stoke may have fever, dehydration and alike symptoms. The main difference will be abnormal "arm pit test". Normally, axillae will always be wet even if a person is suffering from severe dehydration. If the axillae are dry and the person has high fever, it invariably means that he has gone from heat exhaustion to stroke and one should treat this as medical emergency.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief

1 comment:

  1. good defferential diagnosis for normal high grade fever and fever by heat exahustion & stroe. Dr Soni....