What is heat stroke?
Every person in the world has heard of heat stroke and a vast number of people have suffered from it. Heat stroke is a condition when then the body temperature is extremely high and certain physical and neurological symptoms accompany it. Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia. People should know that unlike heat exhaustion and heat cramps, heat stroke is a serious emergency and a person who experiences it should go to the hospital straight away. It is not uncommon for heat stroke to be fatal if it is not treated in time. When the body’s temperature rises, the body will dispose of it through either sweat or radiation. However, in some cases the body cannot achieve that and the temperature will rise up to 106 F and even higher. Dehydration is another reason why a person may end up suffering from heat stroke. In this case a person is unable to get rid of the heat through sweat.
Every person can end up suffering from a heat stroke but there are some who are more prone to it. Infants and elderly people are most likely to experience heat stroke. Apart from them, athletes and especially people who work outside and are under physical stress under the sun have a great chance of ending up with heat stroke.
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke
It is not uncommon for the symptoms of heat stroke to be exact like those of a heart attack or some other condition. In some cases a person will experience symptoms and signs of heat exhaustion before those of heat stroke. Some of the most common symptoms of heat exhaustion are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, dizziness and muscle cramps. However, in some cases a person will not experience these but straight symptoms of heat stroke. High blood pressure, dry skin, no sweating, rapid pulse, problems with breathing, uncommon behavior, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, disorientation and seizure are the most common symptoms of heat stroke. In some case, even coma is possible.
It is important that a person who experiences the symptoms receives treatment straight away. The main reason why that is so, is to avoid permanent organ damage. Cooling the victim is the first thing a person must do. A person can do that by getting the victim into shade, applying cool water and placing ice packs to groin and under armpits. People can also call 911 for further instructions.
The best way a person can prevent heat stroke is by maintaining hydration and avoiding severe physical activities in extremely hot weather.