Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 19, 2019-Friday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Heat Stroke

Loss of body fluids and salt is an important factor complicating heat-related problems.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 20, 2003 21:32 IST

The effects of excessive heat may be either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both these conditions are caused by too high a temperature in the atmosphere, but the signs and symptoms are quite different.

Humid surroundings also add to the problems. Loss of body fluids and salt is an important factor complicating heat-related problems.


Heat Exhaustion

If the patient is unconscious, follow the general ruelsof treating an unconscious patient.

If the patient is conscious, move him to a cool place, give him plenty of salted water (¼ teaspoon of salt to a tumbler of water) and keep him comfortable. Observe for signs of heat stroke.

Heat Stroke

    Bring down body temperature as quickly as possible.

    Keep the patient in the coolest possible place.

    Remove his clothing and sprinkle cool water (if possible iced) on his body and wrap him in a thin wet sheet and fan him. The temperature begins to fall.

    When it gets lower than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, wrap him in a dry sheet and keep fanning him so that the temperature does not rise again. On recovery, treat as for heat exhaustion.

Heat ExhaustionHeat Stroke
Headache, Dizziness, Nausea, Vomiting and occasionally Abdominal CrampsOccurs suddenly but may follow untreated exhaustion
Unconsciousness followsUnconsciousness rapid but may come after headache
Face is pale and pulse becomes weakPulse is full and bounding. Face becomes flushed. Skin is hot and dry
Temperature Normal or slightly highTemperature rises rapidly, sometimes more than 107 degrees Fahrenheit
Symptoms of shockDeath may occur if temperature is not controlled


First Published: Sep 20, 2003 21:32 IST