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 3656 W. Shaw Ave Fresno, CA 93711.
In the heat of a summer day, heat stroke can strike fast. As such, if you are spending time outdoors on hot days in the summer, it is vital to take precautions to prevent heat stroke from happening to you, including staying hydrated and out of direct contact with the sun as much as possible. However, if you do experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion, our medical doctors at AFC Urgent Care in Fresno, CA, can provide quick and effective treatment to you.
What causes heat stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when your core internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), which results in your body overheating. As such, this medical condition usually occurs due to extended time spent outdoors in hot weather or a hot environment. Particular factors that can bring about heat stroke in such situations include alcohol consumption, wearing excess clothing, not consuming enough water, and working, exercising, or participating in an athletic activity.
Other factors that are associated with an increased risk of heat stroke, with or without physical activity involved, are as follows:
- Abrupt exposure to or increase in temperature, which can happen when traveling from a cooler to a hotter climate
- Adults who are 65 years of age or above
- Certain chronic diseases or illnesses, such as those involving the heart or lungs
- No access to indoor air conditioning
- Use of various prescription medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, blood pressure medications, such as vasoconstrictors for low blood pressure, or diuretics
How do you treat heat stroke?
Heat stroke is treated somewhat differently according to the severity of the patient’s condition. As such, milder forms of heat stroke, or heat exhaustion, are treated via electrolyte replacement, oral or intravenous (IV) fluids, 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 do not improve within one hour or get worse, are considered life-threatening medical emergencies, and therefore require emergency room treatment. As such, treatment options could include immersion in ice or cold water, cooling blankets, evaporation cooling techniques, ice packs, or medications to stop the patient from shivering.
What happens to your body during heat stroke?
When your body experiences heat stroke, it begins to overheat, which can cause several different things to happen, including an elevated heart rate, reduced blood flow and circulation, and diminished organ function.
A hallmark sign of heat stroke is a total lack of sweat or perspiration; when this happens, it is a condition known as anhidrosis. Since sweat and perspiration are critical to your body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature and cool itself, a lack of sweat and perspiration is detrimental for someone experiencing heat stroke, as it leads to a rapid rise in temperature and further organ malfunction. Consequently, when anhidrosis occurs with heat stroke, it is considered a life-threatening medical emergency. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if you or someone you experiences heat stroke with this symptom.
Other symptoms that occur in the body during 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 indicative of dehydration
- Diarrhea, nausea, pulsing headache, or vomiting
- Dizziness, fainting, and extreme fatigue
- Excessive perspiration (heat exhaustion) followed by a sudden stop in perspiration (heat stroke)
- Racing and weak pulse
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Slurred speech
What is the difference between heat stroke and sun stroke?
Heat stroke and sun stroke are only different in name, as they refer to the same medical condition.
For more information about heat stroke treatment, please feel free to call us at AFC Urgent Care. We accept walk-in appointments at 3656 W. Shaw Ave in Fresno, California. We serve patients from Fresno CA, Clovis CA, Sanger CA, Reedley CA, Selma CA, Kingsburg CA, and Kerman CA.