Signs Of Heat Stroke That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

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Heat stroke is no joke! The signs and symptoms of heat stroke should never be ignored as they can lead to life threatening situations.

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency.

Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Most often, heat strokes affects those that are 50-years-old or older, however – heat stroke can affect anyone, especially young athletes.

Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The biggest symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Fainting may be the first sign, however.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Help for Heat Stroke

First and foremost, call 911 if someone is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke.

While waiting for help, move the person experiencing the heat stroke symptoms to the coolest place possible. Somewhere with air-conditioning or at best, in the shade.

You will want to try and drop the person’s body temperature to at least 102 degrees.

You can try these cooling strategies :

  • Fan air over the person with whatever you have available to do so, while wetting the persons skin.
  • Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck, and back. Because these areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
  • If possible, place the person in a cold shower or bath.
  • If the person is having a heat stroke due to over exertion, an ice bath will help drop their body temperature quickly.

There is a difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Here is how you can tell the difference.