Heat Stroke: You're In Serious Trouble Now

Heat stroke is the least common and most serious of the 3 types of heat emergencies. It occurs when the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion are ignored. When the body can no longer cool itself it gradually stops working resulting in a rapid rise in temperature. Eventually, vital organs such as the brain and kidneys cease to function.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • Elevated body temperature often as high as 106 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Irritable, bizarre, or combative behavior.
  • Sweating may stop - this is not a good sign.
  • Severe headache.
  • Red, hot dry skin especially in the elderly.
  • Rapid, weak pulse becoming irregular.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.
  • Progressive loss of consciousness.

First Aid for Heat Stroke

  • Remove the person from the heat source.
  • Place in recovery position.
  • Contact EMS immediately.
  • Monitor and treat ABCs.
  • Remove sweaty clothing.
  • Fan or otherwise gently cool skin perhaps with cool towels or ice packs.
  • Do not douse with cold water - this may cause shock.
  • Do not place the person in a tub of water is this may make it hard to maintain an open airway.
  • At this point it is too late to give fluids by mouth as it may induce vomiting.
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