Dangerous Heat Index May Cause Heat Stroke: In an article by the Mayo Clinic, heat stroke is defined as a condition caused by the body overheating, usually a result of prolonged exposure or physical exertion in high temperatures. The most serious form of injury is when the body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment as it may cause damage to the brain, kidneys, and muscles.
“Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. It can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs and often happens as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury,” excerpt from an article by WebMD.
Symptoms of heatstroke
- Throbbing headache
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
- Red, hot, and dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat, either strong or weak
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Confusion or disorientation
Immediate actions. First aid actions for a person having a heat stroke while waiting for emergency treatment include the following: get the person indoors or under shade, remove excess clothing, and cool the person with whatever means possible. It is also important to follow preventive measures such as staying hydrated and taking it easy during the hottest time of the day.
Cooling strategies from WebMD: Fan air over the patient while wetting their skin with water from a sponge or garden hose; apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck, and back; immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water; if the person is young and healthy and suffered heat stroke while exercising vigorously, you can use an ice bath to help cool the body; do not use ice for older patients, young children, patients with chronic illness, or anyone whose heat stroke occurred without vigorous exercise. Doing so can be dangerous.