Emergency Department

Signs of a Heat Stroke

Signs of a Heat Stroke

With summer quickly approaching, the Texas sun has started to make its presence known. And as the temperatures rise, the chance of heat exhaustion and stroke increase! Knowing the warning signs and reacting quickly can make the difference between two.

The signs of Heat exhaustion include: (CDC, 2017).

  • Fast heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cool clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling of faintness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment should be initiated quickly. Getting the victim away from the sun, into a cooler or shaded area will help. The victim should be encouraged to drink cold fluids such as water and Gatorade to help cool. Excess clothing should be removed and cool wet towels may be used to help draw off excess heat.

So when do I need to seek help? In the previous stage, if you are unable to tolerate water, the symptoms continue for greater than 1 hour after removal from the sun, or symptoms worsen you should seek medical attention for further evaluation (CDC, 2017).

If you start to notice the following symptoms, seek medical care immediately for further evaluation. The previous steps should be started to aid the patient. These signs indicate a worsening of the patient’s condition and can signal the onset of a heat stroke. (CDC, 2017).

  • Confusion
  • Continuous vomiting and the inability to hold down fluids
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Temperature of 104 or greater

What can you do to protect yourself? (Sparks, 2019).

  • Wear lose fitting clothing
  • Protect yourself from long exposures to the sun
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids such as water or Gatorade while outdoors
  • Condition yourself to the heat by starting in small increments before increasing to longer.

Following these guidelines will help reduce the risk of heat related illnesses and encourage a fun and healthy summer.

References:

The Centers for Disease Control. 2017. Warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

Sparks, D. 2019. Tips to avoid heatstroke, exhaustion this summer. Retrieved from https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-to-avoid-heatstroke-exhaustion-this-summer/

 

Resources for You

What patients say about Peterson Health