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 5825 Kanan Road Unit B Agoura Hills, CA 91301.
Heat stroke can sneak up on anyone, young or old. As such, when spending time outdoors on hot days, it is essential to take necessary precautions to avoid succumbing to heat stroke, such as drinking plenty of water, taking breaks if you are working or exercising, and limiting time spent directly in the sun. If you do succumb to heat stroke or heat exhaustion, our medical doctors at AFC Urgent Care in Agoura Hills, CA, will be here to help you with swift and effective treatment.
What causes heat stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when your body overheats due to extended time spent outdoors in hot weather or a hot environment without proper precautions taken. While heat stroke can occur without any strenuous activity, it is more likely to happen when an individual is working, exercising, or taking part in an athletic activity outdoors on a hot day, especially if the individual is wearing excess clothing, drinking alcohol, or has not consumed enough water.
Other factors that are commonly associated with an increased risk of getting heat stroke, with or without strenuous activity involved, include the following:
- Adults that are aged 65 or older
- Lack of access to air conditioning
- Sudden exposure to or increase in hot weather, which often occurs when someone travels from a cooler climate to a hotter locale
- Use of various medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, blood pressure medication, including vasoconstrictors for low blood pressure, or diuretics
- Various chronic illnesses, such as those involving the heart or lungs
How do you treat heat stroke?
Treatment for heat stroke varies according to the severity of the patient’s condition. With that in mind, milder forms of heat stroke, which are often referred to as heat exhaustion, can be treated with oral or intravenous (IV) fluids to prevent or treat dehydration, electrolyte supplementation, or removing the patient to a cold room and having them lie down flat on their back.
Severe forms of heat stroke, or those that worsen or do not improve within one hour, are considered life-threatening medical emergencies. As such, they require emergency room treatment, which could involve immersion in cold or ice water, cooling blankets, evaporation cooling techniques, ice packs, and medications to help the patient stop shivering.
What happens to your body during heat stroke?
The overheating point in your internal body temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and higher. When this happens, your body experiences heat stroke, causing several different things to happen, including limited blood flow and circulation, elevated heart rate, and diminished organ function.
Moreover, one of the critical signs of heat stroke is a peculiar lack of sweat, a condition known as anhidrosis. When this happens due to heat stroke, your body can no longer regulate its core temperature, which causes a rapid rise in body temperature and leads to further organ malfunctioning. Consequently, when anhidrosis occurs with heat stroke, it is considered a life-threatening medical emergency. With that in mind, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if you have suffered heat stroke and are no longer producing any sweat.
Other symptoms that occur with heat stroke and heat exhaustion include the following:
- Abdominal and muscle cramps
- Altered mental state, which may include agitation, confusion, delirium, irritability, or loss of consciousness
- Clammy, flushed, and pale skin
- Dark-colored urine, which is characteristic of dehydration
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Excessive sweating (heat exhaustion) followed by a sudden stop in perspiration (heat stroke)
- Extreme fatigue
- Racing, weak pulse
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Slurred speech
- Throbbing headache
What is the difference between heat stroke and sun stroke?
Heat stroke and sun stroke are one and the same, as they both refer to the same medical condition. For more information about heat stroke or an appointment with us at AFC Urgent Care, we welcome you to call us or visit our clinic at 5825 Kanan Road, Unit B, in Agoura Hills, California. We serve patients from Agoura Hills, CA, Westlake Village CA, Calabasas CA, Thousand Oaks CA, Malibu CA, Santa Monica CA and Moorpark CA.