Written by: Dr. Nathaniel Greenwood, DO, FACEP – CPEC Medical Director
Summer is almost here. The kids will be out of school. Vacations will begin. Most people will spend a lot of time outdoors. However, with summer comes the heat. If proper steps aren’t taken, one can easily develop heatstroke with its devastating injury to the body.
Heatstroke is the most serious form of heat injury. It occurs when the bodies temperature is greater than 104° F. Heatstroke requires emergent treatment. Otherwise, it will cause significant damage to the kidneys, heart, muscles and brain.
Concerning signs that someone is developing heatstroke include: confusion, agitation, slurred speech, seizure, vomiting, flushed and dry skin, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate and headache.
If there is concern for heatstroke, you should call 911 immediately. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, important steps to take include: get out of direct sun and into shade, remove clothing and do whatever it takes to cool them off, such as spraying them with a hose, fan while misting with cool water and placing ice on armpits, groin and head.
The key to avoiding heatstroke are:
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Protect against sunburn
- Never leave anyone in a parked car
- Decrease time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day
At Family Emergency Room of Cedar Park, heatstroke is not stranger to us. We are able to provide prompt care to reverse or minimize the damaging effects to the body. If you fear you or someone with you is experiencing heatstroke symptoms, CALL 911 RIGHT AWAY. Any questions or concerns about heatstroke, please contact Family ER at anytime.