Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What is heat stroke, how can you protect yourself from it and how is it treated?

Urgent Care at Peachtree was proud to serve as the first aid staff for the BB&T Atlanta Tennis Open last week.  It was a scorching week on the court and in the stands.  Since we are likely to have more high heat index days before this Summer is over, we wanted to remind everyone that heat exhaustion can happen even when you are just watching a sporting event. 

To illustrate this point, click here to see the footage that ESPN captured of Dr. Ferrara and the Urgent Care at Peachtree medical team assisting an overheated fan at the tennis tournament. 

Whether you are on the court, at the park or in the stands, you can be overcome by heatstroke quickly, so read over the below from The Mayo Clinic and stay hydrated when you are sizzling in the Summer sun!

Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.

Heatstroke symptoms include:
  • High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
  • Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
  • Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your    skin may feel moist.
  • Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
  • Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
  • Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
  • Headache. Your head may throb.
If you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or your local emergency services number.

Take immediate action to cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency treatment.

  • Get the person into shade or indoors.
  • Remove excess clothing.
  • Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person's head, neck, armpits and groin.


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