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 10538 Mission Gorge Road Suite 100 Santee, CA 92071.
When the summer heat comes upon us, it is important to take necessary precautions to stay hydrated and cool, especially if you are working or spending extended time outside, as heat stroke becomes a much greater concern during that time of the year. At AFC Urgent Care in Santee, CA, our medical doctors can provide high-quality treatment for any heat-related illness or injury, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
What causes heat stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when your body overheats to an internal core body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) due to extended time spent outside in hot weather. With that in mind, heat stroke is more likely to occur in such situations when individuals are working, exercising, or taking part in an athletic activity outside on a hot day. Other contributing factors that increase the risk of someone experiencing heat stroke include the following:
- Adults aged 65 years or older
- Alcohol consumption
- Chronic illnesses, including heart or lung disease
- Dehydration or not drinking enough water
- Lack of air conditioning access when indoors
- Sudden increase or exposure to hot weather, which can occur when traveling from a cold region to a hotter climate
- Use of certain medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, blood pressure medication, such as vasoconstrictors for low blood pressure, and diuretics
How do you treat heat stroke?
Mild forms of heat stroke, sometimes referred to as heat exhaustion, can be treated by administering oral or intravenous (IV) fluids to treat or stave off dehydration, electrolyte replacements when dehydration has settled in, removing the patient to a cold room, and having them lie down flat on their back.
With more severe forms of heat stroke or less severe cases of heat stroke that worsen or do not improve within one hour, emergency room treatment is required, as it is then considered a life-threatening medical emergency. Emergency room treatment for heat stroke could include cooling blankets, evaporation cooling techniques, ice packs, immersion in cold or ice water, as well as medications to help the patient stop shivering.
What happens to your body during heat stroke?
When your body overheats, several things occur, including reduced blood flow, increased heart rate, and diminished organ function. One of the most severe signs of organ malfunction from heat stroke is when your body cannot produce sweat, a condition known as anhidrosis. Since sweat is a critical factor in how your body regulates its internal temperature, an inability to produce sweat results in a rapid rise in internal body temperature. Consequently, when this symptom occurs with heat stroke, it is considered a life-threatening medical emergency.
Some other symptoms of 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 a characteristic sign of dehydration
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Excessive sweating (heat exhaustion) followed by an abrupt stop in sweating (heat stroke)
- Extreme fatigue
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Slurred speech
- Throbbing headache
- Weak, racing pulse
What is the difference between heat stroke and sun stroke?
There is only a nominal difference between heat stroke and sun stroke, as they are two different terms that refer to the same medical condition. As a result, there is no qualitative difference between heat stroke and sun stroke.
For an appointment with us at AFC Urgent Care or more information about heat stroke treatment, please feel free to call us, schedule an appointment through our website, or visit our clinic at 10538 Mission Gorge Road, Suite 100, in Santee, California, for a walk-in appointment. We serve patients from Santee CA, Carlton Hills CA, Sky Ranch CA, Riverwalk CA and Mission View Estates, CA.