Heat stroke is a serious condition that occurs when the body loses the ability to control its temperature. It is common in the summer months when there is prolonged exposure to the sun. A heat stroke usually occurs when the body temperature goes beyond 104°F (normal body temperature is 98.6°F). A person suffering from a heat stroke should be given immediate medical care. If left untreated, it could cause damage to the vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. Heat stroke can also be fatal if the treatment is not administered immediately.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
High body temperature - One of the most important symptoms of a heat stroke is
Flushed skin - increase in the body temperature the skin may turn red.
Increased heart rate - There is a significant increase in the heart rate when a person has a heat stroke. The breathing is shallow and rapid and the heart is under great stress to pump blood to reduce the body temperature.
Headache and mental confusion- A heat stroke is often accompanied by a throbbing headache and an altered mental state. This brings loss of memory, irritability, confusion, fainting, seizures and disorientation. Incoherence in speech is also a symptom.
Nausea – Nausea is a symptom of heat may be absent sometimes.
First Aid For Heat Stroke
If you suspect that a person around you has suffered a heat stroke it is important to immediately call an ambulance and rush the person to the emergency room of a hospital or get emergency medical assistance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive there are a few first aid treatments that can be provided
Apply an ice pack to parts of the body (face, back, armpits and neck) that will help reduce the temperature immediately.
Have the person drink cool water.
How To Avoid A Heat Stroke?
A heat stroke can quickly turn fatal. It is best to take preventive measures, particularly in the summer months.
Here are some things that can be done to avoid a heat stroke
1. Remain indoors as far as possible and avoid the midday sun.
2. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes and use a hat or cap when venturing out.
3. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water, juices, and electrolyte-rich fluids.
4. While exercising regularly is important, it is also essential not to push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Lost electrolytes must be replaced both after a strenuous workout and throughout the day.
5. Seek help at the first sign of muscle cramping or nausea.