Do you know the symptoms of heat exhaustion? Each year over 400 people die of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The elderly are more easily over come by the heat. Do you know the symptoms to be on alert for? Heat Exhaustion; skin is often pale, moist & cool to the touch profuse sweating feeling of faintness,dizziness muscle pain or cramps complaints of headache, nausea, headache, thirst or weakness rectal temperature of greater than 100 degrees and increased weakness. If any of these symptoms, move your loved one to a cooler area as soon as possible, loosen or remove clothing, apply cool water to skin.( do not use alcohol rubs!) Give fluids such as water or sports drinks- sports drinks help replace salt lost thru sweating and is the fluid of choice if available- DO NOT give any drinks containing alcohol or caffeine as these work as diuretics and will cause further fluid loss. Salty snacks are also good to give if it is appropriate. SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STROKE: Skin is flushed,hot and dry to touch ( victim has stopped sweating) may be unconscious or have a decreased level of consciousness ie. confusion, dizziness, hallucinations or slurred speech. May have slightly elevated blood pressure that later drops. Rectal temperature of 105 degrees f. or greater. Heat stroke can also cause COMA! If heat stroke is suspected call 911 immediately! You should never attempt to treat heat stroke at home, but here is a list of things you can do while waiting for emergency help to arrive: 1) move victim to cooler environment. If possible place them in a cool bath as long as they are conscious and can be monitored constantly. If this isn't possible apply lukewarm water to skin and allow fan to blow cool air across skin and continuously reapply water. 3) if they are conscious and can tolerate it give cool beverages.
Remember NEVER attempt to treat possible heat stroke at home! Call 911 immediately before doing anything else! Heat stroke can cause comas or loss of life. Quick action to get medical attention is vital and could save a life!
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