Heat stroke is a condition that happens once the body temperature rises up to 104 degrees F or higher. In most cases, an individual initially starts as heat cramps or even heat exhaustion but progresses to heat stroke which is a severe condition if not properly treated.
The organs of the body start to swell due to heat stroke and if the temperature of the body is not reduced immediately, the damage could be permanent. One complication that can be caused by this condition is loss of blood flow which can result to a severe shock which have symptoms such as cool or clammy skin while the color of the lips and nails has a bluish tint.
Older people are more susceptible to this condition, but children with weakened immune system are also at high risk for this condition as well. Temperature in the environment, performing strenuous physical activity and other factors that cause elevation of the body temperature can result to heat stroke.
- Cramps or weakness of the muscle in the early stages and can become limp and rigid.
- An increase in the temperature of the body
- A severe, throbbing headache with high body temperature.
- Seizures, hallucination, losing consciousness and difficulties in speaking and sometimes this can result to coma
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fast heart beat or tachycardia
- The skin on the cheeks, throat, neck, arms and chest becomes red in color
- The skin feels dry and warm to the touch as well as moist and clammy after performing strenuous exercises.
- Move the affected person out of the sunlight, preferably in a shaded and cool place.
- Let the person lie on a flat surface and elevate his/her feet.
- Remove the clothing on the body in order to lessen the heat.
- Place an ice pack on the head of the affected person and also on the back of the neck, palms, armpits, soles of the feet and the groin in order to help lessen heat in the body.
- If the person is conscious, let him/her drink plenty of water or oral rehydration solution in order to prevent dehydration.
- Monitor the temperature of the body frequently
- Immerse the whole body in cold or ice water in order to reduce the temperature of the body. It can also be done by sitting in bathtub that is filled with cold water for at least 5-10 minutes. Make sure that the affected person is accompanied by a family member, friend or medical personnel.
- Another way is by wrapping the body using a cooling blanket around the body after applying ice packs on the neck, groin area, chest and back.