Heat Stroke

Do you know the symptoms of heat stroke? If your answer is no, you may want to take note of these symptoms:

  • A lack of sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Flushed skin
  • Headache
  • High body temperature (higher than 104 F)
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Unconsciousness

When someone is exposed to high temperatures or engages in physical activity in hot weather, they may be at risk for heatstroke. Other factors that may increase the risk of heatstroke include high humidity, health conditions, and being a young child or older adult.

Before someone experiences heatstroke, they may experience heat cramps—muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms, and calves that result from a loss of large amounts of salt and water through exercise. If a person's condition worsens, they may then experience heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint, heavy sweating, light headedness, and nausea. Heatstroke follows heat exhaustion, and getting emergency medical treatment is necessary because within just a short amount of time, damage may occur to the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles, which might cause serious complications or even death.

If you think someone may be experiencing heatstroke, get immediate medical help. Until medical specialists can treat the individual try to cool the overheated person. If outdoors, move the person to a shady location. Remove any excess clothing. Place wet towels or ice packs on the person's head, neck, armpits, and groin. Or mist the person with water while a fan is blowing on him or her.