Symptoms of heat stroke include flushed skin, rapid breathing, high body temperature etc.
Heatstroke is a condition caused when your body overheats, which is often as a result of prolonged exposure to or an intense physical exertion in high temperatures. Heat stroke is one of the fatal forms of heat injury, and it can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.
Heatstroke requires emergency care and emergency heat stroke treatment. Heat stroke if left untreated can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and even muscles. The damages are worsened when heat stroke treatment is delayed, which increases your risk of serious complications or even death.
Causes Of Heat Stroke
Some of the causes of heat stroke include:
- Dehydration: When you do not drink enough water to replenish the fluids that are lost through sweating, it can lead to heat stroke.
- Exposure in a hot environment.Classic heat stroke or non-exertional heat stroke is a type of heat stroke. In these types of heat stroke, being present in a hot environment causes a spike in your body temperature. This form of heatstroke usually occurs when you’re exposed to hot, humid weather, most likely for prolonged periods, such as 2 or 3 days. This occurs most often in older adults and in people with some chronic illness.
- Strenuous activities.Exertional heatstroke is also another type of heat stroke. It is as a result of an increase in body temperature which is brought on by intense physical activity in hot weather. Anyone who exercises or works in hot weather can also develop exertional heatstroke. This will most likely occur if you’re not used to high temperatures.
- Wearing excessive clothing. This prevents sweat from evaporating easily from your body and cooling your body.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol has a way of affecting your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.
Symptoms Of Heat Stroke
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- High body temperature.A body temperature of about 104 F (40 C) or higher is one of the signs of heat stroke.
- An altered mental state or behavior.Delirium, confusion, agitation, irritability, slurred speech, irritability, seizures and even coma can all result from heat stroke.
- An alteration in sweating.In heat stroke that is as a result of hot weather, your skin may feel hot and dry to the touch. But, in heat stroke caused by strenuous exercise, your skin will feel moist.
- Nausea and vomiting.When you have heat stroke, you may also feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin.Your skin may also turn red as your body temperature increases.
- Rapid breathing.Your breathing changes when you have heat stroke, it may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate.Your pulse also changes, and may significantly increase because of the heat stress which places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- You may also experience some head throbbing.
Risk Factors For Heat Stroke
Anyone can suffer from heatstroke, but they are some factors which increase your risk. They include:
- Your ability to cope or endure extreme heat depends on of the strength of your central nervous system. In the very young children, the central nervous system is not fully developed, and in elderly people over 65, the central nervous system begins to deteriorate, making your body less able to cope with changes in body temperature.
- Physical Exertion in Hot Weather.Participating in some sports such as football and also military training in hot weather can lead to heatstroke.
- Certain medications.They are some medications that affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and respond to heat. These medications are Vasoconstrictors (they narrow your blood vessels). You can regulate your blood pressure by blocking adrenaline (beta blockers), ridding your body of sodium and water (diuretics), or by reducing psychiatric symptoms (antidepressants or antipsychotics).
- Some health conditions.Some chronic illnesses, such as the heart (Hypertension) or lung disease can also increase your risk of heat stroke. So can obesity, living a sedentary lifestyle and also having a history of previous heatstroke.
- Lack of air conditioning
- When you’re suddenly Exposed to Hot Weather.
Complications Of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke has a number of complications, which depends on how long the body temperature is high. Some of the severe complications that are associated with the symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Damage to vital organs.When they are no quick response to lower body temperature, heat stroke may cause your brain or other vital organs to become inflamed, which can possibly result in permanent damage.
- Heat stroke can be fatal without prompt treatment, which can lead to dead.
Heat Stroke Treatments And drugs
Treatment of Heat stroke and the symptoms of heat stroke centers on cooling your body temperature to normal temperature, so as to prevent or reduce damages to your brain and vital organs. To do this, here are some steps that may be taken to reduce the symptoms of heat stroke:
- By immersing you in cold water.A bath of cold water or ice water can lower your temperature quickly.
- Using evaporation cooling techniques. In using this technique, cool water is misted on your skin, and warm air fanned over your body which causes the water to evaporate, cooling the skin.
- Packing you with ice and cooling blankets.This method involves wrapping you in a special cooling blanket, and applying ice packs to your groin, neck, back and armpits to lower your body temperature.
- Giving you medications to stop your shivering. Treatments to lower your body temperature might also make you shiver. You may be given a muscle relaxant such as benzodiazepine by your doctor. Shivering causes an increase in your body temperature, which makes treatment less effective.