The heat is on–or it will be soon–and now is the time to help your patients get ready to beat the heat with an informational blog post.
I recommend you piggyback on the big news this week–heat acclimatization. A terrific reference for this is the Consensus recommendations on training and competing in the heat report, just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They recommend two weeks of heat acclimatization:
Athletes planning to compete in hot ambient conditions should heat acclimatize (ie, repeated training in the heat) to obtain biological adaptations lowering physiological strain and improving exercise capacity in the heat.
The authors give detailed information on how to do this. They also give hydration and cooling recommendations.
The information in the BMJ should get you up-to-speed enough to put together a good post. However, you may want some other resources that are less athlete-specific:
1. The European office of the World Health Organization offers a free download: Public health advice on preventing health effects of heat.
In this pdf, you will find advice for the general public during a heat wave. There is a bunch of info relevant to the elderly, infants, and people with specific medical conditions. They also provide information regarding a variety of medications.
2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a plethora of heat advice to pass along to your patients. They have a nice “Beat the Heat” infographic (see preview below) that you can share in your blog or on other social media. You could also print it out and hang it in your office.
3. The National Library of Medicine provides some handy information on heat emergencies. They describe three stages of heat injury; heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. They recommend ways to prevent, recognize, and treat symptoms at the various stages.
4. According to the American Red Cross, heat waves cause more injury than any other weather event. Their website is a terrific resource for your patients. In particular, they help define what a heat wave is and how to recognize warning signs reported in the news.
Well, there you have it. Lots of great resources for you and your patients. Now, go write that post, or at the very least, share the CDC infographic. You’ll be promoting your practice and looking out for your patients during what will likely be a very hot summer.
If you are not sure where to go from here, take a look at these posts:
- How to Blog Like a Person: 4 Tips for Doctors
- Eight Ways to Get More Patients to Read Your Posts
- Be Your Patients’ Watchdog: Evaluate Health News
- Anatomy of a Good Medical Blog Post
- Evidence Based Blogging
Note: Please use your own medical expertise to judge the validity and applicability of the links and materials I have provided.