Rising Temperatures All Over! Know The First Aid During A Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is mostly the last stage of a heat illness. The muscle cramps are the first stage or sign of heat illness, called as heat cramps. If the symptoms or signs go unchecked and untreated the person then experiences heat heat exhaustion which is the second stage of heat illness. And then finally the heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke where the body is unable to regulate its own temperature and thus the body temperature keeps increasing.
Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency and can cause shock, brain damage, organ failure, or even death.
First Aid steps to provide during a heat stroke:
- Move to a cool, shaded area, sit in one place, and restrict physical activity for the next hour.
- Try to get the body temperature of the person down by using cool and wet cloths on the person’s skin. Even cool water can be directly used and gently poured.
- The cool, wet cloths should used as a cold compress especially for the armpits, groin and abdomen area.
- Provide and help the person drink approx. 120 ml of cool water every 15 minutes.
- It will be helpful if the person is made to have salt water, which is made by adding a teaspoon of salt (6mg) in 1 litre of water.
- Depending on the severity (dehydration due to physical activity, or dehydration because of illness), give between 2-4 glasses of an electrolyte solution like Glucon-D through the day(s).
- Massage and rest muscle cramps which are among the first signs of dehydration.
- If you’re not feeling better within 4 hours, head to the hospital where you may be administered an IV for rehydration.
- Perform CPR if the patient is unresponsive and not breathing.
- Medicines for treating fever should not be given.
- Salt tablets should not be given and made to to consume.
- Liquid(s) containing alcohol and caffeine should not be given.
- Alcohol should not bemused to rub against the person’s skin.
- If the person is vomiting and/ or unconscious then the person should not be fed from his or her mouth
Symptoms for different stages of heat illnesses are:
Heat cramps symptoms:
- Muscle cramps and pains, typically or most often it occurs in the muscles of the legs and/or the abdomen.
- Very heavy sweating
Heat exhaustion symptoms:
- Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Moist but cool skin
- Dark coloured urine
Heat stroke symptoms:
- High fever of temperature more that 104°F or 40°C
- Irrational behavior
- Extreme confusion
- Skin colour changes to red and is dry and hot
- Breathing pattern is rapid and shallow
- Pulse becomes rapid but weak
Important – Immediately contact the nearest hospital and seek medical help if the condition is life threatening.
Please Note – This tutorial does not substitute a formal training in Basic Life Saving Procedures or First Aid Procedures given by a licensed practitioner.
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