The Pulse

Symptoms of Heatstroke

Posted by SFSH on August 20, 2020

Summertime was made for the outdoors. Warm weather plus no school is a perfect combination. But have you ever been outside for such a long period of time that you actually started to feel sick? You probably experienced a heat injury. Sometimes our bodies just can’t take all that sun and all that heat. There’s one heat injury in particular that is the most serious and the most dangerous. It’s called heatstroke. Today we’ll be going over what causes heatstroke and what it does to our bodies.

 

Here’s how to properly identify heatstroke.

 

What Causes Heatstroke

First, we need to learn the basics about heatstroke. It is defined as having a core body temperature that is greater than 104° F. There are two main ways to get heatstroke:

1. Excessive Exposure to Heat

Classic heatstroke is caused by being in a hot environment which leads to a rise in core body temperature. This can be caused by excessive layers or dehydration. Remember that 104 is the magic number. You never want to exceed a core body temperature of 104°.

2. Strenuous Activity

Exertional heatstroke is caused by intense physical activity that leads to an increase in core body temperature. This usually takes place when someone is working or exercising outside for a long time.

 

How to Identify

Some of the symptoms of heatstroke may include:

· Confusion: Delirium, and slurred speech are all indicators.

· Headache: Irritability and headaches are common among high core body temperature.

· Nausea: An uneasy stomach and vomiting may occur.

· Fast Heart Rate: Heatstroke puts a stress on the heart to cool the body down.

· Flushed Skin: Skin may turn red as body temperature increases.

 

What It Does & What to Do

Heatstroke has some serious consequences. If it isn’t treated immediately, it may cause your brain and other vital organs to swell. This can result in permanent damage to these organs. Without the right treatment, heatstroke can even result in death. The morality rate from heatstroke is related to its duration. When treatment is delayed, the morality rate can be as high as 80%. It’s important to act quickly, because early diagnosis and treatment can reduce that rate to just 10%.

The good news is that heat-related incidents are all preventable. By drinking plenty of fluid and wearing loose fitting clothes, you’re already doing a good part in preventing heatstroke. If you

must perform strenuous activities outside in intense heat, be sure to take plenty of breaks and to never exhaust yourself. If you think a person might be experiencing heatstroke, seek medical help immediately. In the meantime, try to get the individual as cool as possible and bring them indoors.

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