Winter has long been left in the rear view mirror, and if the warm temperatures of spring are any indication, the Valley of the Sun is in for one hot summer. Longtime residents of Phoenix like to think they have become immune to the brutal heat of summer, but the fact is, summer is as dangerous as it has ever been. Each and every year, hundreds of individuals are hospitalized as a result of heat stroke and dehydration. Heat stroke can damage internal organs including the brain and even cause death. Let’s learn more.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Often, the first sign of heat stroke is fainting, but the primary symptom is an internal body temperature higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A person suffering from heat stroke could feel any of the following symptoms: cramps, muscle weakness, hot, dry, red skin, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and vomiting, shallow breathing, seizures, or a throbbing headache. Heat stroke is almost always accompanied by dehydration, which means individuals will often stop sweating despite the heat.
What to Do if Someone Experiences Heat Stroke
If you believe you or someone else you know is suffering from heat stroke, the first thing you should do is to call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. You should then take the time in which you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive at attempt to reduce the individual’s core body temperature. First, move them to a cool, indoor, air-conditioned location. Ideally, you would then immerse the individual in a tub of cool or ice cold water. If a tub is not available, apply ice packs to their neck, groin, armpits, and back. Wet the remainder of their skin and fan air over them. The longer their internal body temperature remains above 105, the more danger they will be in.