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Heat Stroke Symptoms

Posted Jun 10 2011 8:46am


The heat wave that is making it way across the United States at this point is also making the news . Amazingly, there have been more heat-related deaths in the United States between the 1980s and the early 2000s in comparison with the deaths of all the natural disasters combined.

If that's not enough, Stanford professors predict that the coolest summers by the middle of the New Millenium will be hotter than the hottest summers during the 1900s. (Read tips to stay safe from the heat wave at this link .)

Fancy that, we're going to get cooked, and the stats will rise even more, yet sadly those who have medical conditions apart from senior citizens, infants and children stand a greater chance of losing their lives during the summer.

And perhaps the most damning of these heat-related ailments is the heat stroke…

What is Heat Stroke?

Very simply, a  heat stroke is the body's inability to keep its own temperature under control due to exposure to extreme conditions such as high temperature and humidity, vigorous physical exercise under the sun or even due to dehydration. Even sweating does not seem to help the person in this case as it is how the body brings down the temperature.

The reason why this condition is considered to be a threat because it can take 15 minutes for the body temperature to rise to 106 F or even higher, which can prove fatal for the victim if he or she isn't treated quickly.

But in order to treat anyone with heat stroke, you will have to identify the symptoms first.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Before a victim progresses to the state of a heat stroke, they normally fall prey to heat exhaustion, and so you have to spot these physical and mental symptoms first:

#1: Fainting

#2: Fatigue

#3: Confusion

#4: Heavy sweating

#5: Weakness

#6: Dark yellow or orange urine

Once heat stroke sets in, the conditions worsen, and if you are able to identify any of these symptoms, you should know that the victim needs to be taken care of immediately:

#1: Hot and dry skin

#2: Body temperature over 104 F

#3: Flushing

#4: No sweating

#5: Rapid and a weak pulse

#6: Muscle cramps

#7: Shallow breathing

Once you think that the victim is suffering from heat stroke, the first priority is to cool the body down completely, and so here is how you can treat a person with heat stroke immediately. (Remember these first aid steps can save their life before you take them to a medical facility.)

How to treat a patient with Heat Stroke

So here are a few basic first aid steps that you should follow:

a. Remove the person's clothes or at least most of it and move him to a shady area.

b. Cover the person with a wet sheet, which has to remain wet throughout.

c. Fan the person continuously especially if he or she is out in the open.

d. Do this until the temperature drops to 101 F, when the body feels cool to touch.

e. Give the person sips of water , juice or a soft drink as well.

In Closing

Remember to stay safe this summer while outdoors. Stay indoors and watch for the news before stepping out… especially if you fall into any of the categories of people who face the greatest risk.

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