When you’re out in the heat for too long and your internal body temperature crests 104˚, you’ve entered into the red zone known as heat stroke/heatstroke. A life-threatening condition, heatstroke can cause dizziness and confusion to the point that you can no longer help yourself. That’s why the medical professionals at Medco ER are here to explain heat stroke and what you can do to avoid it.
Complications of Heat Stroke
People who become highly overheated can slip into a coma. They can experience liver, brain, nerve or kidney damage. Blood flow to the heart can be reduced. Muscles can die. Heat stroke, left without medical intervention, can result in death.1
Types of Heat Stroke
There are two types of heat stroke: exertional and non-exertional. Exertional results from physical overexertion in the heat and can come on quickly. Non-exertional may take a few days to manifest and it may be related to other health issues.1
Heat stroke can occur from exposure to a hot, possibly humid, environment and strenuous activity. It can occur from wearing the wrong, hot clothing. Drinking alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Not drinking enough water or electrolytes means your body dehydrates from sweat loss.2
As soon as the first symptoms of heat stroke show up, it is a medical emergency. Have someone bring you to the Plano Medco ER for immediate treatment. Here are the symptoms to watch out for:1
- Dry skin that no longer sweats
- Wet skin that continues to sweat after you stop exerting yourself
- Coordination and balance problems
- Confusion, slurred speech
- Red, flushed, hot skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low urine output
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Bubbling sound in lungs
Stages of Heat-Related Illness
“When you become so overheated that you can no longer cool yourself down with rest, water or sports drink, cold packs, and air conditioning, your physical decline can be rapid,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “Heat exhaustion can easily become heat stroke if you try to push through. If you can’t get on top of your heat-related illness, come in right away to Medco ER. We will likely start an IV and begin trying to safely cool your body down.”
Prevention of Heat Stroke
Be aware of overheating when working or playing in hot, humid conditions. Keep these preventative tips in mind:1
- Avoid working or playing outside in the heat.
- Continually drink water or sports drinks in hot conditions.
- If you are new to the area or the climate, gradually acclimate your body to it.
- Make sure your car has working air conditioning and don’t sit in it when it is idle.
- Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
- Choose light, loose clothing made with light colors.
- Be aware of medications that can affect your ability to regulate temperature such as blood pressure, ADHD, antidepressants, beta blockers and antihistamine medications.
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
With this extreme heat, when you show the first signs of overheating that no longer responds to normal care, come to Medco ER for fast help from board-certified physicians. Since sickness doesn’t always happen during work hours, we’re open 24/7 to provide you with some of the best emergency care available in Plano, TX.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370