- First Aid
What are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke?
By Joan Whetzel
Heat stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition in which a person’s body temperature rises to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher as the body’s natural cooling system shuts down. The condition requires immediate medical attention.
Heat Exhaustion and the Symptoms of a Heat Stroke
Some people feel the symptoms of heat exhaustion before their symptoms progress to the point of a heat stroke. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
· muscle cramps, and
If suffering heat exhaustion symptoms, take them as a warning before the condition progresses to that of a heat stroke. Heat stroke symptoms have been known to imitate those of a heart attack, and can include one or more of the following:
· Body temperature 1050F or higher,
· Sweating ceases,
· Skin becomes hot red or dry and flushed ,
· Pulse is rapid,
· Blood pressure rises too high or has dropped too low,
· Breathing becomes labored or rapid and shallow,
· The person starts behaving strangely,
· Hallucinations occur,
· Confusion or disorientation develops,
· The person becomes agitated or irritable,
· Headaches, fainting or seizures occur,
· The person lapses into a coma.
Heat Stroke Treatment
Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention to prevent permanent brain and organ damage. Call 911 anytime the signs of a heat stroke appear. While waiting for help, try these steps.
- Cool the body temperature quickly by moving the person into the shade or into an air conditioned building. Remove clothing. Apply cool water to the skin and use a fan to blow cooler air across their skin or run a garden hose to help them get wet. Place ice packs at the person’s groin or under their arm pits. In serious cases, immersion into a cool bath can help bring down the temperature rapidly.
- Give the person plenty of fluids to drink, as long as he or she is conscious and responsive. Water is the best choice, but other fluids will work well also. Avoid caffeinated drinks or beverages containing alcohol, which act as diuretics.
- monitor the temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and mental state frequently.
Heat Stroke Prevention
Prevention is the best cure for heat stroke. It involves anything you can do to stay cool and well hydrated. Prevention advice includes avoiding strenuous activities on hot, sunny, humid days; drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages; replacing electrolytes lost due to heavy sweating; taking breaks to rehydrate and to rest in a cool or shady spot; and wearing loose and lightweight clothing.
Medicine.net. Heat Stroke.
Mayo Clinic. Heat Stroke: First Aid.
Cunha, John P., DO, FACOEP. eMedicine Health. Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke.
WebMD. Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment.