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How to Apply First Aid For Heat Stroke - Symptoms of Heatstroke

Updated on October 3, 2015
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Works as a daytime stock trader and writes about crafts, hobbies and travels when she gets time off.


What is Heatstroke

When a person is subject to heavy sweating, water and salts are removed from the body at a faster rate than normal. Dehydration occurs when the body fluids lost through sweating are not being replaced. As a result, the person is at risk of having a heatstroke.

When a person suffers a heatstroke, it is a life threatening situation. The temperature of the body starts to rise as the water levels in the body reach such a low level that sweating stops altogether and the body is not capable of cooling itself anymore. The vital organs including the brain, kidneys and heart will begin to fail.

People who are most at risk of heatstroke are babies and young children left in cars with the windows closed on hot days, the elderly, the sick and athletes doing too much strenuous activities outdoors on hot days.

Symptoms Of Heatstroke

Some of the signs of heatstroke are:

  • rising body temperature to over 40°C
  • dry skin
  • a weakening rapid pulse
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • mental confusion
  • fainting
  • unconsciousness

First Aid and Treatment

If a person is having symptoms of heatstroke, seek medical aid immediately as heatstroke is potentially lethal and urgent medical aid is required.

Move the casualty to a cooler place. Make sure there is enough ventilation and air circulation in the area.

Loosen tight clothings and remove most of the clothings on the person. Cover their body with a wet sheet and fan the casualty to increase circulation. Apply ice packs to the neck, groin and armpit areas. These are areas where the large blood vessels are, and applying ice packs will accelerate the cooling. Stop cooling when the body feels cool to the touch.

Give the casualty a drink if the person is conscious and able to swallow.

Stay with the person until medical aid arrives.


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    • ManuelAtt profile image

      ManuelAtt 6 years ago

      Very informative article, thanks!