Heat Exhaustion is illness that presents before the onset of Heatstroke. Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition and immediate medical attention should be sought without delay. To prevent these conditions, drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, wear protective clothing and avoid vigorous activity in hot conditions.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion:
- Feeling hot, weak and tired
- Persistent headache
- Extreme thirst
- Feeling faint or giddy
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Rapid or weak pulse
- Pale or clammy skin
Signs of Heatstroke:
- High body temperature
- Flushed, dry skin
- Mental confusion/irritability
- Dizziness or visual distortion
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Seizure and unconsciousness
First Aid for Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke
Steps to Follow: Heat Exhaustion:
- Encourage patient to rest
- Loosen clothing and remove any unnecessary clothing (jackets, etc).
- Apply cold water with a sponge to the patients head and body.
- Give fluids to drink. Water is best.
- Seek medical attention if vomiting occurs or the patient does not feel better soon after onset of symptoms.
Steps to Follow: Heatstroke:
- Monitor the patients lifeline (DRABC).
- Apply cold packs or ice to neck, armpits and groin.
- Cover the patient with a wet sheet.
- Give fluids if patient is fully conscious.
- Call for medical attention immediately. Do not wait for the patients condition to deteriorate. Seek medical advice immediately.
Best Tip: Hydration is the key to avoiding heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drink plenty of fluids especially if you’re prone to loosing sweat because of intensive activities. Keep a bottle of water handy or when you’re traveling.
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