What you need to know about heatstroke



You might have heard that it’s ‘just hot’ outside, but heat affects everyone and can be dangerous if not treated.

Is heat stroke life-threatening?

Here are three important facts about heatstroke to keep in mind:

  1. Heatstroke is a medical emergency.
  2. Heatstroke can be life-threatening, and long-term complications are possible.
  3. Seek help immediately if any of these signs happen: unconsciousness; confusion; a fast heart rate; hot, dry skin.

Call 911 right away if you think someone is having trouble coping with the heat or has one of the symptoms for more than five minutes.

What is a heatstroke?

Heatstroke is when your body can’t cool itself down and your temperature rises. It’s also called heat exhaustion, heat prostration, and sunstroke.

How does heat stroke happen?

Heatstroke occurs when body temperatures become dangerously high – a possible sign is that you will be confused or unconscious with a fast heart rate. The body cannot regulate itself in extreme heat, especially if the person is exercising or doing a job like farming where they have no access to water. Long-term problems can include kidney failure, muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis), and even death. Heatstroke affects both men and women, but it occurs more often in older people.

How to keep cool in hot weather?

There are many ways to keep cool during hot weather:

  • Drinking water is one of the best ways to stay hydrated, but you should avoid soda and alcohol because they can upset your stomach and cause harm. Also, only drink clear liquids like water so you know what your body is taking in.
  • You can also take specific medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin for pain relief and acetaminophen for feverish symptoms. If you take Tylenol every four hours for more than seven days, it won’t harm your liver.
  • Wear light-colored clothes; dark colors absorb the heat better than light colors do.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Wear loose layers that are appropriate for the temperature.
  • Try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, but drink regularly – often five to eight glasses of water a day depending on your age, activity level, and body weight.

Heatstroke can be prevented by knowing the signs and symptoms so you can seek help if someone needs it. Very important to learn about the first aid steps when helping a person with heatstroke check it out now Emergency First Aid for Heatstroke.