Heat Stroke

July 8, 2015

With the arrival of summer and extended periods of intense heat and humidity, the Privamed team is concerned about your health and urges you to be particularly careful when out in the sun.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke occurs when body temperature, local or general, rises above 37°C.

It is also called thermal fever or sunstroke. This is a life-threatening medical emergency requiring immediate treatment.

Here is a list of heat stroke symptoms:

  • Extremely high internal temperature – up to 41° C (106° F)
  • Dry, flushed, hot skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • Quick, shallow breathing
  • Headache
  • Confusion, strange behaviour
  • Possible loss of consciousness

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, the top priority is to immediately lower their body temperature. The best solution is to take the person out of direct sunlight and immerse them in cold water (river, creek, bathtub, etc.). If they are conscious and alert, get them to drink water or other liquids.

Sports drinks are best, but often cold water is more readily available.

Heat stroke can be prevented!

  • Drink at least one glass of water every 20 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Wear lightweight and light-coloured clothing, preferably cotton, to promote the evaporation of sweat.
  • Wear a hat when you work outside.
  • Adjust your pace of work depending on your heat tolerance.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or in a cool place.
  • If you have health problems, a medical history or if you have recently been ill, be extra careful.
  • If you take medication, aren’t getting enough sleep, or drink alcohol, be extra careful.

The Privamed team would like to wish you a great summer!

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