With summer comes fun days by the pool, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities, but it also means hotter temperatures and a potential for heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Heat stroke is a condition where your body temperature rises to 104°F or more as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Symptoms of a heat stroke vary depending on the severity. Most common symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flushed, red skin
- Severe headache
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- If heat stroke is brought on by exercise, you will most likely sweat excessively
- Altered mental state such as confusion, slurred speech and irritability.
Treating Heat Stroke
If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact 911 immediately. The following actions should be taken as soon as possible to prevent complications such as organ damage:
- Move to a shaded area
- Remove excess clothing
- Cool the person immediately with cold water, wet towels, and ice packs
- Monitor the body temperature to avoid overheating even more
- Avoid giving the person fluids
Risk Factors of Heat Stroke
Anyone can develop heat stroke, but there are a few factors that can increase someone’s chance such as age, over-exertion in hot weather for military training or athletic training and certain medications that narrow your blood vessels.
Contact Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital by visiting us online, or calling us at (469) 322-7174 for more information on avoiding heat stroke.