ARTICLES ON HEALTH
Preventing Heat Stroke & Exhaustion
featuring Trey Alderman, Emergency Medicine
Most people don’t realize heat exhaustion and heat stroke conditions have some distinct symptoms, so it’s important to learn about
both. This is especially true for adults over age 65 who are particularly vulnerable because their bodies adjust to heat more slowly.
COMMON HEAT EXHAUSTION SYMPTOMS:
Profuse sweating, pale skin, headache, rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramping, seeing “spots” or other disorientation.
If you see someone with any of these symptoms, the top priority is to get him or her into a cool, air-conditioned place. Apply cooling measures such as fans or towels with ice, and if fully conscious, drink water. Also, have the person take a cool shower or bath. Those suffering from heat exhaustion should avoid resuming any heatrelated activity until told otherwise by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
COMMON HEAT STROKE SYMPTOMS:
Core body temperature above 104 degrees; lack of sweating despite the heat; red, hot and dry skin; fainting, dizziness or disorientation; muscle weakness or cramping; nausea; rapid and shallow
breathing; rapid and strong pulse; and throbbing headache. When a person’s condition moves beyond heat exhaustion, it is classified as heat stroke, which is a serious medical emergency. Heat stroke can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, and can even result in death.