Heatstroke is definitely a severe condition that occurs when the body’s core temperature rises to 104°F (40°C) or higher. It results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures or strenuous physical activity in hot environments. Heatstroke is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.
When the body is exposed to high temperatures, it tries to cool itself down through sweating and by radiating heat. However, in cases of prolonged exposure or intense physical exertion, these cooling mechanisms can become overwhelmed, leading to a rapid increase in body temperature.
Heatstroke may result in causing significant damage to various organs in the body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The longer the condition remains untreated, the greater the risk of complications and potentially life-threatening outcomes. Some of the difficulties associated with untreated heatstroke include brain damage, heart problems (such as abnormal heart rhythms or heart attacks), kidney failure, and muscle breakdown.
What are the Common Signs & Symptoms of Heat Stroke?
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heatstroke is crucial for prompt medical intervention. Common symptoms include a high body temperature, altered mental state or behavior (such as confusion, agitation, or irritability), nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, headache, and even loss of consciousness.
- High body temperature. Elevated body temperature serves as a crucial indicator of heatstroke. Heatstroke is primarily identified by a core body temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher, which is typically measured using a rectal thermometer.
- Altered Cognitive Functions(Behaviour or Mental State): Heatstroke can display a wide range of neurological symptoms, including confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures, and even coma. These cognitive and behavioral changes are potential consequences of the severe overheating that occurs in heatstroke.
- Altered Sweating Pattern: In cases of heatstroke triggered by hot weather, the skin typically feels hot and dry to the touch. Conversely, when heatstroke is caused by intense physical exertion, the skin may feel either dry or slightly moist. The difference in skin condition can be observed depending on the underlying cause of heatstroke.
- Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin. Change in color of skint to red with an increase in body temperature.
- Rapid breathing. Increasing Rate of Breathing and Causing Shallow Breathing
- Elevated Heart Rate. Your Heart rate may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- Headache. Your head may throb.