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Healthy Living

Heat Stroke

The effects of excessive heat may be either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both these conditions are caused by too high a temperature in the atmosphere, but the signs and symptoms are quite different. Humid surroundings also add to the problems. Loss of body fluids and salt is an important factor complicating heat-related problems.

Signs and Symptoms

Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke
Headache, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting and occasionally Abdominal Cramps Occurs suddenly but may follow untreated exhaustion
Unconsciousness follows Unconsciousness rapid but may come after headache
Face is pale and pulse becomes weak Pulse is full and bounding. Face becomes flushed. Skin is hot and dry
Temperature Normal or slightly high Temperature rises rapidly, sometimes more than 107 degrees Fahrenheit
Symptoms of shock Death may occur if temperature is not controlled


Heat Exhaustion

  • If the patient is unconscious, follow the general rules of treating an unconscious patient.
  • If the patient is conscious, move him to a cool place, give him plenty of salted water (ΒΌ teaspoon of salt to a tumbler of water) and keep him comfortable. Observe for signs of heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

  1. Bring down body temperature as quickly as possible.
  2. Keep the patient in the coolest possible place.
  3. Remove his clothing and sprinkle cool water (if possible iced) on his body and wrap him in a thin wet sheet and fan him. The temperature begins to fall.
  4. When it gets lower than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap him in a dry sheet and keep fanning him so that the temperature does not rise again. On recovery, treat as for heat exhaustion.


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