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First Aid for Heat Stroke

heat stroke first aid 300x240 First Aid for Heat Stroke

Heat syndrome is a life-threatening disorder resulting from environmental or internal conditions that increase heat production or impair heat dissipation. Heat syndrome falls into three categories: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. What is the difference among the three?  And what is the first aid for heat stroke that can be done by an ordinary person?

  • Commonly affect young adults
  • Strenuous activity without training or acclimatization
  • Normal to high temperature or high humidity


  • Muscle twitching and spasms, weakness, severe muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Normal temperature or slight fever
  • Normal central nervous system findings
  • Diaphoresis


  • Commonly affects young people
  • Physical activity without acclimatization
  • High temperature and humidity


  • Muscle cramps (infrequent)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Thready, rapid pulse
  • Cool, pallid skin
  • Headache, mental confusion, giddiness
  • Oliguria, thirst
  • No fever
  • Sweating


  • Exertional heatstroke commonly affects young, healthy people who are involved in strenuous activity
  • Classic heatstroke commonly affects elderly, inactive people who have cardiovascular disease or who take drugs that influence temperature regulation
  • High temperature and humidity without any wind
  • Hypertension followed by hypotension
  • Atrial or ventricular tachycardia
  • Hot, dry, red skin, which later turns gray; no diaphoresis
  • Confusion, progressing to seizures and loss of consciousness
  • Temperature higher than 40 degrees Celsius
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slow, deep respirations



Better know and relay the first aid for heat stroke

      • Move the patient in a cool, shaded place.
      • Fan air over the person if air-conditioned room is not available.
      • Loosen patient’s clothing and have him lie down with both legs raised.
      • Massage the person’s muscles.
      • Wet a towel with water and sponge the patient’s body.
      • To lower patient’s body temperature, cool rapidly with ice packs on arterial pressures points and hypothermia blanket.
      • Let the patient drink water and to replace fluids and electrolytes, immediately give a balanced electrolyte drink. Observe aspiration precaution because the patient might be unconscious.
      • Have the patient rested and avoid strenuous physical activity.
      • Consult a physician for further management.

Special Considerations

  • Heat illnesses are easily preventable, so it is important to educate the public about the various factors that cause them. This information is especially vital for athletes, laborers and soldiers at field training.
  • In order to avoid heat syndrome, take the following precautions in hot weather: rest frequently, avoid hot places, drink adequate fluids and wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
  • Advise patients who are obese, elderly or taking drugs that impair heat regulation to avoid overheating.
  • Tell patients who have had heat cramps or heat exhaustion to increase their salt and water intake. They should also refrain from exercising until symptoms resolve, then resume exercises gradually with plenty of electrolyte-containing fluids and precautions to prevent overheating.
  • Warn patients with heatstroke that residual hypersensitivity to high temperatures may persist for several months.
  • Parents should be aware that young children and infants are at risk for overheating in hot weather.



About Connie Cris Tagupa RN

I'm a full pledge nurse with clinical experience right after passing the board with a passion in writing that engages a part time job as article contributor. Always stand with a belief that learning is a lifelong process. Openly accepts challenges to increase my ability and hone my skills. A very well diversified person that don't settle for mediocre outputs.

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