Man in Taiwan suffers stroke from sudden cold after hot shower

A routine shower ended in a medical emergency for a 30 year old man in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who suffered a stroke triggered by sudden exposure to cold after stepping out of the bath. Doctors have used this incident to highlight the dangers of abrupt temperature changes and to advocate for public awareness of stroke symptoms encapsulated by the F.A.S.T. mnemonic.

On a chilly day, the man, after enjoying the warmth of a hot shower, experienced a severe headache as soon as his bare feet touched the cold floor. This was quickly followed by weakness in his right arm and leg and slurred speech. His family acted swiftly, rushing him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a stroke. His blood pressure had soared to dangerously high levels.

Chen Deyuan, the head of neurosurgery at the hospital, reported that on one particular day, six consecutive stroke patients were admitted, underscoring the need for vigilance in cold environments. Blood vessels can constrict significantly in response to low temperatures, especially if blood pressure is uncontrolled or hydration is insufficient, leading to increased blood viscosity and the risk of a stroke.

The doctor emphasized that the patient thought he would warm up by taking a hot shower in the cold weather. However, once he stepped out into the cooler air with minimal clothing, the drastic temperature change had a catastrophic effect. His blood pressure exceeded 200 mmHg, and a burst blood vessel in his brain resulted in his critical condition.

To mitigate such risks, Chen advises avoiding direct contact with cold floors after leaving a warm bed and suggests wearing socks or slippers. If going outside, wearing a hat and scarf can protect against the direct impact of cold winds on the head.

Identifying a stroke can be straightforward with the use of the F.A.S.T method, which stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call emergency services. Identifying these symptoms quickly and seeking immediate medical attention within the crucial 4.5-hour window can make a significant difference in the outcome of stroke treatment.

Warning signs

This case serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance our bodies maintain with our environment and the importance of recognizing and responding to the warning signs of stroke. Chen’s advice is not just for those in colder climates, but for anyone who experiences sudden temperature changes, emphasizing the need to maintain steady environmental conditions to prevent such life-threatening incidents, reported KhaoSod.

World News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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