Heat stroke is the most severe form of illness caused by excessive heat. In the context of short-term exposure to very strong sun, the human body is capable of maintaining an optimal temperature by triggering thermoregulation mechanisms such as sweating.
The warmer the sweat is, the more abundant. Sometimes, however, the body’s cooling methods are no longer working or no longer respond to very high temperatures. The body overheats causing heat stroke, a state that can put our life at risk.
A person with a sunburn has a temperature of up to 104.9 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius) and does not sweat.
It is very important to quickly recognize the signs of heat stroke in order to take the necessary measures as soon as possible.
- Strong sweating followed by gradual diminishing (the victim does not have enough water in the body to continue sweating)
- Fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, irritability.
- The victim will become pale, and his hands and feet will become wet and cold.
If no action is taken at this stage and the victim continues to remain in the sun, its condition will be altered resulting in a severe form of heat stroke. This is manifested by:
- The reddening of the skin, the victim’s hands and feet become warm and dry
- Strong acceleration of heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth, strong thirst
- Chills, muscle spasms or convulsions
- Hallucinating states, confusion or delirium
The victim must be removed immediately from the sun and moved to a cool place.It must be stripped in such a way as to expose as much of its body surface to the air.
The whole body of the victim must be cooled with cold water, which can be sprayed or applied by sponge or compresses. Ice packs can be applied to the abdomen, neck and armpit.
If the victim is aware and able to swallow, he must drink as many liquids as possible.
CAREFUL! No medication will be given to the victim to reduce fever because he will do more harm than good! Until the arrival of qualified help, the vital signs of the victim, the breath and the pulse must be closely watched, because the heat stroke can lead to hyperthermal shock – convulsions, vomiting, loss of consciousness for more than a minute, low pulse, etc. If the victim is no longer breathing, resuscitation maneuvers must be initiated.