Major Signs of Heat Stroke

Beach holidays and adventures are fun until the harsh heat gets to you. Unfortunately, people might not understand how extreme damage the heat can do. And we are not talking about sunburns or rashes. Prolonged exposure to scorching heat may result in heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a severe condition wherein your body overheats because of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It usually occurs when your body temperature rises to 40°C or higher. It may even require emergency treatment in some cases. Heatstrokes can take your life or sometimes can cause damage to the brain and the other internal organs. So, immediate first aid help is essential.

Here are symptoms and causes of heat strokes to look out for:

High Body Temperature

Body temperature is a core sign of heatstroke. When your body temperature is 104°F (40°C) or higher, you have a high chance of getting heatstroke. Plus, the combined effects of dehydration and high-temperature combines can be even more horrible.

Nausea And Vomiting

You may feel weak, nauseous, and like you want to vomit. You feel extremely sick to your stomach.

Throbbing Headache

Headaches occur for several reasons, but when a headache occurs because of heatstroke, it causes stress, depression, and anxiety.

Skin Color Changes

High body temperature changes the color of the skin. As a result, your body might turn red or just darker than the original color. The color changes in the skin can vary from one person to the other, depending on the person’s actual skin tone.

Heavy Breathing

Like many other serious illnesses, heatstroke also causes breathing problems. You can experience rapid and shallow breathing during this phase. This means you experience more breaths than usual in each minute.

Behavioral Changes

Well, it’s a known fact that you start feeling uneasy when you are not feeling well. This uneasiness causes confusion, seizures, irritation, disorientation, or staggering.

Alteration in Sweating

Heatstroke can happen in summers and winters because of high temperatures or strenuous activities. When a heat stroke happens in hot weather, your skin becomes hot and dry to the touch. However, when a heat stroke occurs due to strenuous exercise, your skin becomes dry and slightly moist.

What are the Risk Factors of Heatstroke?

Be it a young or an older person; anyone can get a heat stroke. However, certain risk factors that cause heart stroke are:

  • Age: When you are very young, your ability to deal with extreme heat is not good because your nervous system is not fully developed. Similarly, if you are an adult over 65, your nervous system begins to deteriorate, making your body less strong to cope with body temperature changes.
  • Sudden exposure to hot weather:  You can quickly get heatstroke if you are suddenly exposed to high temperatures, especially during the early summer season.
  • Exertion in hot weather: Participating in sports or military training in hot weather can easily cause heatstroke.
  • Existing medication or health condition: Certain illnesses like a chronic heart or lung condition may put you at additional risk. Similarly, certain medicines may affect your body’s ability to deal with extreme heat.

Recognizing a Heat Stroke Emergency

Heatstroke may affect people who might not have access to air-conditioning or good airflow. Similarly, people who don’t drink enough water or those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol. If you see a person exposed to heat and is feeling uneasy or faints, they might be experiencing heatstroke. You should seek immediate medical help or take him/her to the doctor.

Firstly, try to cool down the person by taking them into the shade or indoors, removing excessive clothing, or using wet towels. Other options are to take them to a cool tub of water, fan while misting with cold water, or place ice packs on the person’s head, neck, and armpits.

Remember, you can always prevent heatstroke by wearing loose-fitting clothes, drinking plenty of fluids, protecting against sunburn, and avoiding strain during extreme weather conditions.

This widespread but risky condition can be controlled with immediate first aid. Now, you can learn how with a  first aid certification that teaches you to save lives in such difficult situations. MyCPR NOW offers various certification courses like CPR/AED, Bloodborne pathogens, First aid, etc. So, in the crowd, be the person who saves lives!

Major Signs of Heat Stroke
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