Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise, often to 40°C or higher. Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system.
Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:
– changes in mental status and behavior
– Nausea and vomiting
– Rapid pulse
– Rapid breathing
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect heatstroke call your local emergency number and follow these first aid steps.
o Move the person into a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
o Spray with a garden hose
o Sponge with cool water
o Fan while misting with cool water
o Place ice packs or cool wet towels on the neck, armpits and groin.
o Begin CPR if the person loses consciousness and shows no signs of circulation
o If a child has stopped breathing, begin rescue breathing.
o Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce a high body temperature that can occur with heatstroke. These medicines may cause problems because of the body’s response to heatstroke.
o If the person is awake and alert enough to swallow, give the person fluids to rehydrate. Don’t give sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. Also avoid very cold drinks, as these can cause stomach cramps.