Heat illness occurs when your body is unable to regulate heat loss, or when your body temperature rises above normal. It is defined in three stages: dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat illness can lead to severe complications, and even death, if left untreated. It is important to be familiar with the early signs and symptoms of heat illness so that medical assistance and treatment can be procured as soon as possible.
Read the article below to learn how to assess the three stages of heat illness.
1. Dehydration is the first, and most mild, stage of heat illness that occurs when the body is lacking adequate fluid.
- Check for cramping in the legs or abdomen, particularly during or after strenuous exercise.
- Confirm the presence of excessive perspiration.
- Faintness, dizziness or weakness may occur if an individual is suffering from dehydration.
2. Heat exhaustion is the next step beyond dehydration and can lead to serious injury and even death if left untreated.
- Check the victim’s skin for paleness, moisture and goose pimples.
- Be aware of physical symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, heavy perspiration and dizziness.
- Recognize mental symptoms including disorientation and/or confusion.
3. Heat stroke is the last, and most dangerous, stage of heat illness. A victim of heat stroke can die within minutes if proper medical treatment is not procured immediately.
- Take the victim’s temperature. Extremely high body temperature indicates heat stroke and may also manifest itself in the form of hot, dry skin and a lack of sweating.
- Observe the individual’s behavior. Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and confusion indicate possible heat stroke.
- Escalating physical symptoms including vomiting, an elevated pulse rate or loss of consciousness may occur. Seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Published: Wiki How
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