Tips to beat the heat and prevent suffering from heat stroke
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s extremely hot across the area. With this type of heat, it doesn’t take long for your health to take a dangerous turn.
Untreated heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition.
According to officials, heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down.
When heat stroke happens, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive emergency treatment.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness (coma)
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Very high body temperature
- Fatal if treatment delayed
Take the following steps to treat someone with heat stroke:
- Call 911 for emergency medical care.
- Stay with the person until emergency medical services arrive.
- Move the person to a shaded, cool area and remove outer clothing.
- Cool the person quickly, with a cold water or ice bath, if possible.
- Wet the skin. Place cold wet cloths on the skin. Soak clothing with cool water.
- Circulate the air around the person to speed cooling.
- Place cold wet cloths or ice on the head, neck, armpits, and groin; or soak the clothing with cool water.
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Heat exhaustion is most likely to affect the elderly, people with high blood pressure or those working in a hot environment.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- -Heavy sweating
- -Elevated body temperature
- -Decreased urine output
Treat a person who has heat exhaustion by doing the following:
- Got to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment.
- Call 911 if medical care is unavailable.
- Have someone stay with the person until help arrives.
- Remove the person from the hot area and give liquids to drink.
- Remove unnecessary clothing, including shoes and socks.
- Cool the with cold compresses or have the person wash their head, face, and neck with cold water.
- Encourage frequent sips of cool water.
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