Ljubljana Glacier: heat risks

Recognising heat-related health conditions can be challenging. While experiencing headaches and fatigue, we might not immediately realise the seriousness of the situation. However, if left untreated, body temperature can rise above 40°C, leading to life-threatening heatstroke (1).

Some signs of heatstroke include

  • high body temperature (above 40°C);
  • hot, dry skin (due to reduced sweating, indicating that our body is no longer capable of regulating its temperature!);
  • nausea;
  • headache;
  • confusion, dizziness, or loss of consciousness (1) (4).

If someone exhibits signs of heatstroke, immediate first aid is crucial. Here's what you should do: 

  • Move the person to a shaded, cooler area.
  • razrahljamo ali odstranimo obleko;
  • Cool their body with cold water, cool air, or ice packs on the armpits and groin (focusing on cooling the torso rather than the limbs, as cooling the limbs can cause blood vessels in the skin to constrict, further impeding heat dissipation).
  • The severely affected individual should not consume anything, including fluids.
  • Seek immediate medical help (1) (4).

How can we prevent heatstroke from occurring?

To prevent heatstroke, watch for signs like muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, exhaustion, and nausea (4). Take these precautions: 

  • Stop physical activity, rest, and find shade.
  • Cool the body with cold water or wet clothes.
  • Stay hydrated with non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages (sip slowly).
  • If the condition doesn't improve within an hour, seek medical assistance (1) (2) (4).

Vulnerable individuals during heat waves include the elderly, children, and those with chronic illnesses. We should also consider outdoor workers and athletes , as they are more susceptible to heat-related health issues due to their exposure to high temperatures and physical exertion (3) (5).

The Ljubljanski ledenik (Ljubljana Glacier) project is an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the significance, impact, and protection against heat waves. Discover more valuable content on posters strategically placed throughout the city centre and by visiting the following link. The project is co-funded by the Municipality of Ljubljana.

(1) Gorjenc, J., Posavec, A. Vročinska kap – prikaz primera v službi HNMP. URL: https://www.hnmp.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/vrocinska-kap.pdf
(2) NIJZ. Napotki prebivalcem za ravnanje v vročini, ko je med nami še vedno prisoten virus SARS-CoV-2. URL: https://nijz.si/moje-okolje/zrak/napotki-prebivalcem-za-ravnanje-v-vrocini-ko-je-med-nami-se-vedno-prisoten-virus-sars-cov-2/
(3) NIJZ, 2022. Svetovni dan zdravja 2022 – Podnebne spremembe: Vročinski valovi in zdravje ljudi. URL: https://nijz.si/moje-okolje/podnebne-spremembe/svetovni-dan-zdravja-2022-podnebne-spremembe-vrocinski-valovi-in-zdravje-ljudi/
(4) CDC. Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html
(5) T. Pogačar, M. Zalar, L. K. Bogataj: Vročinski valovi v povezavi z zdravjem in produktivnostjo. Ujma, 2016. URL: https://www.gov.si/assets/organi-v-sestavi/URSZR/Publikacija/Ujma/2016/151-160_vsebina-za-tisk.pdf