Heat Stroke Treatment Questions and Answers
Heat Stroke can be severe and dangerous and is very common during the hot summer months. Taking precautionary methods to ensure heat stroke doesn’t occur can help. If you do have signs or symptoms of heat stroke, please visit our urgent care today! We are located at 5208 Calhoun Memorial Hwy Suite C Easley, SC 29640.
Everyone loves to play in the sun, especially during the warm summer months. However, during the hot season, it is vital to be aware of the dangers of heat stroke and what you can do to avoid it. Overdressing in warm weather is a common cause of heat stroke and can easily cause the body to overheat as it prevents sweat from being easily evaporated. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat stroke can help save a trip to the emergency room.
What causes heat stroke?
Heat stroke is caused by the body overheating, which can happen when the body’s ability to regulate heat is compromised or affected by an external source. This can happen when:
- Exercising strenuously or overexertion in hot, humid weather
- Dehydration, which reduces the body’s ability to sweat
- Alcohol use, which can negatively impact the body’s temperature regulation
- Overdressing,especially in clothes that do not allow sweat to evaporate
Heat stroke can happen to anyone, although there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of it developing, such as:
- Children under 4 and adults older than 65
- Certain drugs that affect the body’s ability to stay hydrated, including:
- Beta blockers and diuretics
- Illicit substances such as cocaine and amphetamines
- Sudden temperature changes
- A high heat index
How do you treat heat stroke?
Unlike most other conditions, the treatment for heat stroke does not vary greatly from patient to patient. It focuses on lowering the body’s temperature, which may include:
- Moving to a shady location
- Removing one or more articles of clothing
- Resting out of the sun
- Turning on a fan or the air conditioning
- Running cool water over the skin
- Applying cool, wet towels to the body
- Drinking fluids such as water and sports drinks
Seek immediate medical attention if a person vomits or feels nauseated.
To treat heatstroke, a doctor may:
- Apply ice packs to the neck, armpits, groin
- Spray cool mists
- Support any injured organ systems
- Use a specialized cooling blanket
- Administer intravenous fluids that promote cooling and hydration
Should I visit Urgent or Emergency care for heat stroke?
Whether you should go to the emergency department or urgent care depends on the severity of the heat stroke. In mild to moderate cases of heat stroke, by the time a person sees a doctor, their symptoms may have been reduced by drinking water and getting out of the heat. Not all heat stroke symptoms lead to emergency medical situations. Although heat exhaustion can develop into heat stroke, it is typically not serious on its own and can be treated at an urgent care center. In situations where heat stroke symptoms are severe, it can turn into a dangerous situation and should be handled at emergency care.
What is the difference between heat stroke and sun stroke?
Both heat stroke and sun stroke refer to the same condition. However, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are different. They are both caused by staying in a hot, humid environment, causing the body to become dehydrated. However, they show different symptoms.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
- A fever no higher than 104º F
- Extreme thirst
- Muscle pains
- Substantial perspiration (sweating)
- Slow heartbeat
- Looking pale
- Having cool and sweaty skin
If the symptoms of heat exhaustion are not addressed, the condition can develop into heat stroke. Heat stroke is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Body’s temperature increases above 104º F
- Rapid heart rate
- Hot and dry skin
- Loss, or change of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced urination
If you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of heat stroke, make sure they get the care they need as soon as possible. At AFC Urgent Care in Easley, SC, we specialize in treating heat stroke and can help you recover from the condition. Call us today to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 5208 Calhoun Memorial Hwy Suite C, Easley, SC 29640. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Easley, Clemson, Anderson, Boiling Springs, Duncan, Greenwood, and Powdersville.