Causes, symptoms and measures


When you are exposed to extreme temperatures for an extended period of time, heatstroke can occur. Learn how to recognize heat stroke and what you can do to assist.
Caution, life-threatening situation: What is a heat stroke, exactly?
Heatstroke (also known as "hyperthermia syndrome") occurs when you are exposed to excessive heat for an extended period of time or too quickly.
 Physical activity can also be a factor. 
The most obvious example is a symptom is a body temperature above 40 degrees. During heat stroke, the body can no longer produce sweat for cooling - this is life-threatening! Therefore, if heatstroke is suspected, the emergency physician should also be called immediately.

Who is the most vulnerable to heatstroke?
Anyone can get heatstroke in theory, however, the following categories are especially vulnerable:
  • Infants and small children,
  • People who are chronically unwell, the elderly, and those who have never been exposed to heat.
These are the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion.

The symptoms of heatstroke are similar to those of sunstroke. Heatstroke symptoms, on the other hand, appear while you are still in the sun/heat. The first signs of sunstroke usually appear several hours later. Heatstroke is indicated by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever of more than 40 degrees, red and dry skin, headache, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, cramping,
  • Consciousness disturbances are on the rise.
  • Circulatory collapse to organ failure,
  • In addition, in babies: refusal to feed, shrill crying or apathy, rapid pulse.
What to do in case of heatstroke?
If someone shows signs of heatstroke, the first action should be to get them out of the sun. Other first aid tips before the doctor arrive:

  • The affected person should lie down with his or her legs elevated and his or her head slightly elevated in a cool, shady location.
  • It is preferable to loosen overly tight clothing.
  • Cold towels should be placed on the head and neck, as well as the arms and legs, to chill the body down.
  • It is critical to drink plenty of fluids while the patient is conscious and not sick (preferably water).
  • Keep a tight eye on the patient, paying special attention to his respiration and pulse, and never leave him alone. At any moment, he could pass out.

How can I avoid getting a heat stroke?
You can suffer sunstroke or sunburn if you expose yourself to the sun without protection, in addition to heatstroke. You can protect yourself by following these guidelines:
  • Never be outdoors without a hat (preferably with a neck protector),
  • Avoid the midday sun,
  • Apply sunscreen properly (you can find out all about the right sun protection factor here),
  • Drink plenty of fluids (at least two liters, three is better in hot weather),

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