Heat Stroke Treatment Questions and Answers
Heat Stroke can be severe and dangerous and is very common during the hot summer months. Taking precautionary methods to ensure heat stroke doesn’t occur can help. If you do have signs or symptoms of heat stroke, please visit our urgent care today! We are located at 9040 Ulmerton Rd, Suite 200, Largo, FL 33771.
Summer is a favorite season for many, and it is easy to see why: the warm sun, beach days, barbecues, hiking, fishing, swimming and outdoor activities abound in this permitting weather. In fact, it is easy to lose track of time when enjoying yourself outdoors. Things like drinking water and staying in the shade might be the last thing on your mind, but they cannot be forgotten. Proper hydration and cool body temperatures are essential to avoiding the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If the body becomes too hot, heat sickness is bound to set in, which can cause illness-related symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue. If not treated and the body is unable to cool down, it can result in serious health risks and even permanent damage.
What causes heat stroke?
The main cause of heat stroke is working or exercising in hot conditions or weather without drinking enough fluids or taking enough time to cool down. Heat stroke can be caused gradually by not replacing lost fluids over days or weeks, or it can be brought about in a few hours by exercising strenuously on a hot day without drinking plenty of liquids first or staying in the shade.
By allowing the body to produce sweat, liquids help to cool us down. However, liquids are also necessary for our body to properly perform its functions, such as maintaining blood pressure. It is possible to lose large amounts of body fluid in the form of sweat without noticing any effects, however, after a certain point the body will reserve the remaining fluid for vital functions and stop producing sweat. When this occurs, the body’s core temperature significantly increases, and cells start dying.
People with the following conditions are at higher risk of developing heat stroke:
- Chronic illnesses like heart disease
- Older age
- Parkinson’s disease
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Use of certain medications including diuretics and antihistamines
- Use of some psychoactive drugs such as cocaine
- Certain skin conditions
Wearing heavy or dark-colored clothing can also contribute to the occurrence of heat stroke.
How do you treat heat stroke?
The first-line treatment for heat stroke is to drink plenty of fluids and stay in a cool, dry place. This helps the body rehydrate and return to a normal temperature. In severe cases, a doctor might use the following methods to treat heat stroke:
- Fully immerse the body in cold water
- Use evaporation cooling techniques
- Use ice and cooling blankets
- Give medications to stop shivering
What happens to your body during heat stroke?
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can cause severe bodily damage. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the sweating mechanism fails, the body is unable to cool down, and the body’s temperature rises rapidly. Within ten to fifteen minutes, body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher. Heat stroke can be fatal or cause permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided in a timely manner.
Warning signs that the body’s temperature is too high and could lead to heat stroke include:
- An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
- Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
What is the difference between heatstroke and sunstroke?
Heat stroke and sunstroke both refer to the same condition, however heat exhaustion is a less severe version that can lead to heat stroke if not treated. Heat exhaustion typically causes the same or similar symptoms as heat stroke, just on a less severe scale.
If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of heat stroke, seek medical care immediately. The medical professionals at AFC Urgent Care in Largo, FL can help you manage your symptoms and help you recover. Call us today or book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 9040 Ulmerton Rd, Suite 200, Largo, FL 33771. Our office is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and Saturday & Sunday from 8 AM to 5 PM. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Largo, FL, Clearwater FL, Seminole FL, Pinellas Park FL, Dunedin FL, Safety Harbor FL and Oldsmar FL.