JUN 04, 2016 04:51 PM PDT

Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention


We often call heat stroke "sunstroke," but it's not specifically caused by direct exposure to the sun. A person can get heat stroke from spending prolonged time in the heat. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency that can kill or cause damage to the brain and other organs. It mostly affects those over 50-years-old but the condition has hurt many young healthy athletes as well. A person usually experiences a progression of symptoms leading up to heatstroke. These symptoms include heat cramps, nausea, disorientation, a throbbing headache, and shallow breathing. The defining symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature of over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, implement cooling strategies to lower the person's body temperature to 101 to 102 degrees. These strategies include putting ice packs on the patient's neck and other areas that have many blood vessels close to the skin.

The risk of heat stroke increases when the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. With the summer months ahead, it's important to stay extra hydrated, wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitted clothing. Wear a hat and sunscreen and try to reschedule outside active activities to the coolest time of the day.
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
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