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How to Apply First Aid For Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Updated on August 25, 2014
lady rain profile image

Lady Rain works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts and hobbies. She likes travelling and making papercraft models.


What is Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion normally occurs when a person has been physically active in a very hot environment. Those people who are usually affected are factory workers, construction workers, firefighters, athletes, children, the elderly and people who are wearing too many layers of clothings on a hot day.

People working in hot environments are at risk of heat exhaustion. Evaporation is much slower in a hot and humid environment than in a hot and dry environment. A person working in a hot and humid environment is at risk of heat exhaustion because the air heats up the body at a rate which is much faster than it can cool itself.

Most of these people suffer dehydration as they continue to sweat and the amount of water in the body decreases. As a result, the blood volume falls causing less flow of blood to the vital organs. When the whole body system is affected, the person will suffer a mild form of shock.

Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion

Some of the signs of heat exhaustion are :

  • weakness and fatigue
  • exhaustion
  • feeling hot
  • headache
  • feeling thirsty
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid breathing
  • clammy and cold skin
  • pale looking
  • weak but rapid pulse

First Aid and Treatment

Ask the casualty to move to a cooler place and lie down. Make sure there is enough ventilation and circulation of air in the area.

Remove unnecessary clothings and loosen any tight clothings on casualty.

Apply a cold sponge on the casualty. If casualty is conscious, give them a cool drink.

If casualty vomits and does not recover from the symptoms, seek medical aid immediately.

© 2011 lady rain


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    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 6 years ago from Australia

      Denise, thank you for your vote. Some people are more sensitive to heat and I am one of them. As you said, it happens quickly before you realise it, so remember to stay cool at all times when you go outside on hot days. Take care.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great info! and very important. I had heat exhaustion a few wks ago and it was startling how quickly it came on!!! Thanks for sharing. Rated interesting and useful.