What to do in a heat-related medical emergency

What to do in a heat-related emergency

PHOENIX - Heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke are all very real consequences of severe weather during the summer months. 

Recognizing signs of an individual suffering from a heat-related medical emergency is the first step in what could be a life-saving progression of events.

Common heat-related medical issues include heat exhaustion, heat stroke (hyperthermia), or heat cramps, and affect seniors, adults, children or infants, according to the American Red Cross.

Here's a look at what you can do if you or someone you love suffers a medical incident because of the heat.

RELATED: Your summer heat safety checklist

Heat exhaustion

Symptoms of heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale, blotchy skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, listlessness.

Treatment: If skin feels cool to the touch or bumpy move the person to a shady cool location, remove clothing, apply wet cloths or water to the skin and check for vitals. If the person is conscious, have them sip water. Watch for any changes in their condition. If symptoms continue or worsen call for immediate emergency response.

Heat stroke

Symptoms of heat stroke: Hot, red blotches on the skin, poor reaction or changes in consciousness, vomiting, high body temperature. If there is any indication that a person may be suffering from heat stroke call 911. It is a life-threatening condition if left untreated.

Treatment: Bringing down the person's body temperature is the first priority. Immerse them in cold water if possible or cover them in cool rags or water.

Heat cramps

Over exertion in hot temperature can lead to heat cramps in the leg or torso.

Treatment: Move the person to a cooler place where they can rest. Once the cramps pass, have them move and stretch the affected area. And have them drinking fluids, about half a glass every 15 minutes.

Sunburn

A sunburn is considered a first-degree burn if skin is exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time.

Treatment: If the skin looks red, feels painful, and is hot to the touch get out of direct sunlight. Take a cool shower for temporary relief. Ointments like aloe vera can also help relieve pain and itchiness. Allow the skin to peel in coming days. If abnormal freckles or discoloration of the skin develops over time, consult a doctor.

MORE RESOURCES: How Arizona drivers should prepare for excessive heat

Copyright 2016 KPNX


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment