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What is the First Aid Treatment for Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness and can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive emergency treatment. Hence, it is vital to acquire knowledge in giving immediate treatment if someone is in such a situation.
This blog will discuss the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, the signs of heat stroke and what needs to be done if someone has a heat stroke.
What is heat stroke?
Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature. When the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body cannot cool down. When heat stroke occurs, body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes and can cause permanent disability or death if the person does not receive emergency treatment.
Heat stroke is caused by your body overheating, usually due to prolonged exposure to the sun or physical exertion in high temperatures. Heat stroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles if left untreated.
Are heat exhaustion and heat stroke the same?
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both dangerous conditions if left untreated. Heat exhaustion is the body's response to a loss of water and body salts through excessive sweating. The most common cause of heat exhaustion is working or exercising in hot conditions (such as hiking on a scorching day). It occurs when the core body temperature rises above 380C. If the problem is not treated, it can lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke, on the other hand, results from failure of the brain's hypothalamus (temperature control centre). When the sweating mechanism fails, the body cannot cool down, and the core temperature can reach dangerously high levels (over 400C) within 10 to 15 minutes. The condition can be caused by a high fever or prolonged exposure to heat and often follows heat exhaustion.
What are the signs of heat stroke?
The main clues to heat stroke are signs of brain overheating:
- Dizziness, fainting, confusion, restlessness
- Throbbing headache
- Lowered levels of response lead to unconsciousness
- Possibility of seizures
- Nauseous, vomiting
- Flushed, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
Heat stroke can be very serious if not treated quickly.
What is the first aid treatment for heat stroke?
These are the steps in giving first aid treatment for heat stroke:
- Move the casualty to a cool, shaded area.
- Call 999/112 for emergency help.
- Cool the casualty rapidly, using whatever methods you can:
- Remove outer clothing and wrap the casualty in a cold, wet sheet. Keep it damp and cold until the casualty's temperature falls to normal levels, then replace it with a dry sheet.
- Other methods of cooling can be:
- Continuos sponging with tepid water and fanning the casualty to help it evaporate.
- Placing in a cool shower if they are conscious enough to do so.
- Spraying with cool water from a garden hose.
How can we prevent heat stroke?
There's a high risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke during hot weather. These are some tips to help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:
- Drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising.
- Take cool baths or showers.
- Wear light-coloured, loose clothing.
- Sprinkle water over skin or clothes.
- Avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm.
- Avoid excess alcohol.
- Avoid extreme exercise.
This will also prevent dehydration and help your body keep itself cool. Children, the elderly, and people with long-term health conditions (like diabetes or heart problems) are more at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Where can I find online first aid training courses for heatstroke?
The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited heatstroke online first aid training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team clicking here to tell us your online first aid training courses requirements for heatstroke treatment.
Online first aid training courses for heatstroke
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Frequently asked questions and answers about heatstroke treatment
Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many questions about heatstroke treatment training courses. We have selected a few of these questions and answered them below.
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