Heat stroke is form of hyperthermia which is an abnormal rising of the temperature of the body with physical symptoms and changes in the function of the nervous system.
A severe hyperthermia has a body temperature of 104 F or 40 C or higher. Generally, it is caused by severe heat, high humidity and performing vigorous exercises under the sun and the body is not capable of reducing efficiently the heat and result to raising of the temperature up to 41.1 C or higher.
Furthermore, heat stroke can also be caused by dehydration. Dehydration cannot produce sweating fast enough to reduce the heat.
Risk factors for heat stroke
- Infants and elderly people with lung disease, heart diseases and kidney disease and taking medications that makes them susceptible to heat strokes and dehydration.
- Infants, children and pets left inside cars
- People working outdoors and physical exertion under the sun.
- At first, high temperature of the body
- Fast pulse rate
- Breathing difficulties
- Absence of sweating with hot red or flushed dry skin
- Strange behavior
- In addition, disorientation
- Lastly, seizure or coma
- Move the affected person into a shade or an air-conditioned room, to start cooling the body. Generally, remove unnecessary clothing from the body.
- Cover the person using a damp cloth or sheet or spray the body with cool water. Look for a sheet enough to cover the body from the neck down to the toes.
- Apply water on the body using a sopping wet sponge or cloth.
- Apply ice on the armpits, groin, neck and back for fast cooling down of the body. In addition, another alternative is using bag of frozen vegetables such as corn or peas is good for the condition.
- Take cold shower or soak the body in the tub filled with cold water. Furthermore, taking a bath in the pond, lake or cold water from the hose help cool down the body.
- Prescribed medications to lessen the shivering and spasms of muscles and reduce temperature of the body.
- Drink sports drinks to re-hydrate the body and salts needed by the body to heal. Generally, prepare 1 quart of water, add ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix them well until salt and sugar is totally dissolved. Drink slowly ½ of the solution every 15 minutes. Drinking cool water is also good for the condition. Avoid energy drinks and soft drink to prevent disruption in the ability of the body in regulating the body temperature.
- Drink plenty of water when performing physical activities under hot weather conditions such as water and sports drinks.
- Take frequent breaks to rehydrate the body.
- Wear hats and light-colored loose clothing.
- Avoid leaving infants, children or pets in locked cars.
The details posted on this page on heat stroke is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is properly managed enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.