Heatstroke - Recognising the signs and symptoms can help save a life

Heatstroke in summers

As summer approaches people living in hot regions experience heatstroke. Heatstroke is a condition caused by excessive body heating due to prolonged exposure or physical exertion in high temperatures. The signs and symptoms of heatstroke include.

  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • Excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
  • Cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • Fast breathing or pulse
  • High temperature of 38C or above
  • Being very thirsty
Heatstroke - Recognizing the signs and symptoms can help save a life
05 June 2021

Heat related illness can include Heat Rash, sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Prolong heat exhaustion can be life threatening and need urgent medical intervention.  Delayed treatment increasing your risk of serious complications or death.

Severity of heatstroke 

Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke may result in damage to brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage is severe and permanent if the treatment is delayed. 

Major risk factors 

Age: elderly and children are at higher risk of getting a heatstroke in summers as their ability to cope with extreme heat depends on body’s strength. These age groups usually have difficulty remaining hydrated, which result in increased risk of heatstroke. 

Exertion in hot weather: extreme exertion in hot weathers can lead to heatstroke. Physical activities such as sports, long runs and military trainings may cause heatstroke. 

Medications: there are certain medications used to treat high blood pressures and heart conditions that may lower body’s ability to stay hydrated. Dehydration in hot weather also caters to heatstroke. 

Sudden temperature changes: it depends on a persons’ ability to adapt with climate changes. When you rapidly move from a colder to warmer region, it becomes difficult to regulate the body temperature thus resulting in heat stroke. 

What should I know?

If you see any person suffering from a heat stroke, know that heatstroke comes with have high body temperature, dry skin (no sweats), fast and strong pulse rate and loosing consciousness. In such conditions you should aid person with accurate medical care. 

  • Get out of the heat quickly and into a cool place, or at least shade
  • Lie down and elevate your legs to get blood flowing to your heart
  • Take off any tight or extra clothing
  • Apply cool towels to your skin or take a cool bath
  • Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink