Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke Symptoms is a type of hyperthermia; the body suffers from a dramatically elevated temperature.


Heat Stroke Symptoms are considered to be a medical emergency and can be detrimental if not immediately and appropriately treated. Cooling the patient may be a crucial step in the management of this condition. The most essential measures to avert heat stroke are to stay away from being dehydrated and to avert from excessive physical activities in humid and hot surroundings. The elderly, infants, outdoor workers such as construction workers and athletes are the groups at the highest risk for this condition.

What is Heat Stroke?

Heat Stroke is the atypical elevation of body temperature accompanied by physical manifestations including alterations in the normal nervous system functions. Nothing like heat exhaustion and heat cramps, two other types of hyperthermia that are not as much severe as heat stroke; it is a medical crisis that is often damaging without prompt treatment. It is as well referred to as sun stroke (See: Symptoms of a Stroke).

A body warmth of 40°C (104°F) or higher is defined as Severe Hyperthermia. The body more often than not produces heat as an outcome of metabolism that occurs during digestion, and is usually able to fritter away the heat by emission of heat by evaporation of sweat and through the skin membrane.

On the other hand, in high humidity, tremendous heat or vigorous physical activity underneath the sun, the system of the body is not able to disperse the heat and the body temperature of the patient rises, sometimes even up to 41.1°C (106°F) or higher. Dehydration is the other significant cause of heat stroke. A dehydrated patient possibly has the inability to sweat faster enough to disperse heat that results to the increase of body temperature.

What are the Risk Factors for Heat Stroke Symptoms?

There are certain groups of people that are identified to possess the highest risk of having this condition. It includes the Infants; this is due to the fact that infants have an immature thermo regulating center and they are too sensitive to feel this symptoms. However, this population is the hardest to treat because they don’t have effective communication skills to report symptoms of Heat Stroke, all they can do is cry.

The old age group is also at a higher risk because of lung diseases, heart disorders, kidney diseases and taking prescribed medications that makes them susceptible of being dehydrated which can result to Heat Stroke. It is also because of the reality that they are suffering form the diminishing function of their nociceptors which receives the sensations and responds quickly to stimuli.

Athletes, understandably, are always at risk for Heat Stroke due to the nature of their activities because aside from doing stuffs under the heat of the sun, they are also involved in executing vigorous physical activities according to their sport. They easily perspire because of the strenuous movements they carry out which can result to dehydration. Construction workers and other employees who work underneath the heat of the sun also have the highest risk because of the temperament of their jobs.

What are the Heat Stroke Symptoms?

Symptoms of Heat Stroke can from time to time take off those of heart attack or other diseases. Sometimes a patient exhibits manifestations of heat exhaustion before continuing to Heat Stroke.

The patient may first feel nausea and vomiting that can further aggravate the condition because of fluid and electrolyte imbalances that can lead to dehydration. Then the patient can subsequently feel fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle aches and cramps and dizziness. In some instances the person may develop symptoms that are abrupt and progressing rapidly to severe signs without warning.

Other indications may include flushed dry or hot red skin, absence of sweating, high body temperature, rapid pulse, and difficulty of breathing, hallucinations, strange behaviour, agitation, confusion, disorientation, seizure or even coma.

How to Treat Patients with Heat Stroke Symptoms?

Sufferers of this condition must receive prompt management to avert permanent injury to organs. The first thing to do is to cool the patient.

Put the patient into a shady area, get rid of the clothes and apply a cool or tepid sponge to the skin or spray the patient with cold water coming from the garden hose. If possible, fan the patient to encourage evaporation and sweating then put an ice pack on the groin or under the armpits. If the person is conscious, let him drink fluids or drink cold water or other cold beverages that don’t contain caffeine or alcohol. Keep an eye on the body temperature using a thermometer and continue the cooling interventions.

Notifying the emergency departments immediately about Heat Stroke Symptoms using their hotlines is an utmost importance because the delay of the recue team may cause death to the patient. Even though treatments can save the life of a patient, it is necessary to just prevent it from occurring by avoiding the factors that may cause its incidence.