wellbeing news

"If you're thirsty, it's too late"


Extreme temperatures are often associated with massive health problems. Just drink is for Dr. honey. Olaf Konopke, head of the emergency department Cottbus Carl-Thiem-Klinikum (CTK), is the most important prevention.

33, 36, 38, 40 degrees Celsius – this is the meteorologist forecast for this week. Whenever the temperature in the region increases or persists at high levels, urgent emergency wagons are increasing. It is also acoustically visible. The emergency signal appears to be gradually blended with urban noise – so it is often heard. RUNDSCHAU spoke in a short sigh between two missions with Dr. Ing. Olaf Konopke, Chief Medical Officer of CTK Emergency Aid.


Dr. Coal, thermal waves are a tough time for you and your colleagues. With what acute, often endangering health problems are you facing?



Konopka The human body tolerates high temperatures only for a certain time. Especially in chronic patients and the elderly, health is getting worse. So, the diagnosis is that most people are called to "worsening the general condition". In the case of chronic heart disease patients may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure as the vessels are widened due to the heat. Circulation collapse and cardiac arrhythmia threaten.

Many older people drink too much, because feeling thirsty weakens.

Konopka Dehydration is actually a big problem. Because it leads to dehydration. This causes disorders of circulation, dizziness, disorientation. That is why dangerous damages often occur. When kidney patients do not consume the right amount of fluid, their values ​​are deteriorating. This means threatening the poisoning of the body. Some older people also respond to high temperature with fever.

That's why the best prevention …

Konopka Appropriate hydration. And here's the principle: if you're thirsty, it's actually too late. Since the body is already turning its attention to the lack of fluid.

How many daily do you need to drink?

Konopka There are no universal standards. It depends on a lot about: about outdoor temperatures around. If it's hot, sweat – and that's why the body needs more fluid. And out of the food: If it's a liquid, it's easier to drink. Everyone has to find out for themselves what the right amount of drinks he feels comfortable with. It must not be less than 1.5 liters. Healthy people do not have any problems with them. People who are chronically ill, such as cardiac patients often taking dehydration tablets, should consult with their family doctor.

What advice do you have for readers of Die RUNDSCHAU to pass through a week of heat?

Konopka You should pay attention to your diet. Low fat and light foods with lots of fruits and vegetables are on the menu. Who can, should work outdoors in the morning and evening. Generally, it would be good to avoid physical effort as much as possible. Airborne clothing helps the body to cope with the heat. I have a special request for the elderly gentlemen: Please avoid getting out of the flames of mild heat, this can quickly lead to threatening health problems.

By what time do you and your colleagues usually call for urgent cases in such thermal environments as they are now?

Konopka From noon to afternoon. Actually, in the warmest time of the day.

Days to Sunday are called "Week Sahara". Meteorologists believe it can be up to 40 degrees Celsius. Have you made special arrangements with your Emergency Team, asked for additional medical and nursing staff?

Konopka No, we are so well placed in terms of the staff that we could handle the greatest burdens. Though you never know exactly what's coming. But we're part of an effective hospital. And of course, we will – as always – provide the patient with urgent urgency. Priority is always given to people whose lives are in danger. I think all those who have to wait a bit longer in emergency service understand this.

Dr. Konopke, you are a specialist in anesthetics, but since 2005 you work as Head of the Thiem-Klinikum Emergency Department. Long time in hard work. Do you also drive regularly?

Konopka Yeah, that's relatively long. But I am still in emergency service. Because I can not tell you here, I've seen everything. During the mission, you face new things with real challenges. And sometimes you experience gratitude when you can quickly help patients in a threatening situation – especially in such hot times.

When are we already talking about how do you personally find current temperature forecasts?

Konopka Great, I like the heat. Without autumn and winter.