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Community Healthy Health Services Public Health

Heat Stroke

Would you know if someone was suffering from heat stroke?

Heat strokes can at times mimic the symptoms of a heart attack.

Common signs include;

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness

Symptoms can develop suddenly and without warning.

Some of the other warning signs are;

  • High body temperature
  • Hot red flushed skin, but a lack of sweat.
  • Rapid pulse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion/hallucinations/strange behaviour/agitation
  • Seizure or in severe cases coma.

What should you do?

If you or someone you know is experiencing more than one of these symptoms seek urgent medical advice. If you are worried call 000 for an ambulance.

Things you can do to help treat signs of heat stroke;

  • Move the patient into a shady area or ideally inside in the air conditioning.
  • Use icepacks or cold compresses to try and cool the person down. Place the icepacks on areas where there are major arteries like the groin, neck and armpits. If shivering occurs slow down the cooling process as shivering raises the bodies temperature.
  • Monitor the patient’s temperature and continue cooling until they reach around 38dc.
  • If they can handle it give them fluids, preferably fresh cool water. Do not give them any beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol.

So what can I do to help protect myself?

  • Keep out of the heat were ever possible.
  • Put off any strenuous exercise unless it is inside an air-conditioned space.
  • Keep up your fluids. Drink before you are thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • Wear loose light coloured clothing.
  • Never leave children, pets or the elderly in a locked car. No matter how brief your errand may be, the risk is too great to consider.