Heatstroke is a very dangerous condition caused by the body overheating. It requires immediate treatment as it can be life-threatening. Look for these warning signs:
- High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 degrees F or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
- An altered mental state. Signs include confusion, slurred speech, agitation, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma.
- Skin changes. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, the skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. In heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, the skin may feel moist.
- Rapid breathing. Breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Flushed skin. The skin may turn red as the body’s temperature increases.
- Nausea and vomiting. A heatstroke victim often feels sick to their stomach.
- Heatstroke often causes a throbbing headache.
- Racing heart rate. The heart beats faster in an effort to use blood to cool the body.
How to Help
Anyone experiencing heatstroke needs immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency services number. It’s important to take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment.
- Help get the affected person into the shade or a cool room.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Cool the person with whatever means is available – a bath or shower using cool. water, a fan while also misting with cool water, or use ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.