What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

When going on vacation, it is important to remember that from a medical point of view, sunstroke is considered a type of heat stroke. And if the prevention of the first condition consists in competent organization of staying under the sun, then the prevention and treatment of heat stroke requires comprehensive measures aimed at preventing overheating of the body.


Heat shock symptoms


The emergence of a state of overheating of the body can be facilitated by many factors: agricultural work in areas completely open to the sun; professional activities in high temperature conditions; tourist trips to countries where heat prevails in combination with high humidity; clothes that are too tight, breathless or out of season; excessive physical activity on sunny days.


It is very important to be able to recognize the symptoms of heat stroke in time, because a dysfunction of the body's thermoregulation can lead not only to the occurrence of serious pathologies, but also to death.Clinical manifestations of heat stroke are expressed in three degrees of gravity:



  1. In mild form, headache, muscle weakness appear, dizziness may occur, accompanied by nausea. There may also be signs such as dilated pupils, too much pulse, redness of the skin of the face and body.
  2. Moderate severity is characterized by increasing headache and weakness; vomiting may occur; there is a lack of coordination of movements, heart palpitations and breathing. Body temperature may exceed 38-39 degrees.
  3. The severe form of heat stroke is expressed in a sharp change in skin color: from bright red to bluish-pale; there is rapid breathing with an irregular rhythm; visual and auditory hallucinations may occur; sweating increases; fainting and cramps are possible.

Heat stroke in a child


According to medical statistics, the greatest number of cases of heat stroke is observed in children under the age of 6-7 years. This is due to the fact that the child’s thermoregulation system is still in a developmental stage and does not always have time to respond correctly to difficult climatic conditions.In overweight children, an excess of subcutaneous fat may inhibit the release of excess heat.


Often the cause of heat stroke in a child is the illiterate actions of parents who pick up clothes that are too warm, cramped or made from synthetic materials. Also contributing to the emergence of heat stroke can be a long stay of the child in the car, standing without traffic in a traffic jam or in the parking lot.


Symptoms of heat stroke in a child are the following signs:



  • the appearance of shortness of breath, rapid pulse, nausea and vomiting, wet skin; nosebleeds may occur;

  • if the causes of overheating have not been eliminated, the next stages of development of thermal shock are characterized by a strong increase in body temperature, vomiting, pre-unconscious states, disorientation in space, marked reluctance to move and change body position;

  • Signs of severe heat stroke include loss of consciousness, convulsions, speech confusion, the appearance of hallucinations. This stage is characterized by the presence of very dry and hot skin, frequent but weak pulse, intermittent breathing.


Heat stroke treatment


First of all, it is necessary to take urgent measures to eliminate the causes of overheating of the body and to ensure a decrease in body temperature.


To do this, the victim is transferred to a shady place or in a room with air conditioning, placed on his back and unbuttoned clothes to facilitate breathing. If nausea and vomiting is observed, then the head of a person affected by heat stroke must be turned to the side or his body position changed in such a way as to avoid vomit entering the respiratory tract.


Cool compresses are placed on the area of ​​the forehead, chest, underarms, calves and hands. Compresses should only be cool, but not ice, because too sharp a contrast of temperatures can adversely affect the cardiovascular system.


It is very important to ensure not only a decrease in body temperature, but also the restoration of water balance: the victim’s body is wiped with a damp sponge and give plenty of drink. It is best suited for therapeutic purposes cool clean water, table mineral water without gas, juicy vegetables and fruits with high fiber content. If there is such an opportunity, then it is recommended to add a small amount of salt to the water for drinking, contributing to the rapid recovery of water and electrolyte balance.


In case of fainting, the victim is placed in such a way that the head is slightly below the general body position, and the legs are located on a small elevation - for this it is enough to roll clothes into the roller or put everyday objects at hand. On the area of ​​the temporal depressions impose cool compresses, bring a cotton swab moistened with liquid ammonia to the nose.


It must always be remembered that a person affected by heat stroke may need serious resuscitation. Therefore, providing him with first aid should take care of calling a qualified medical team.


If the child’s heat stroke is accompanied by respiratory arrest, and the ambulance team is still on the way, the following measures should be taken urgently:



  • a child lying on its back is slightly tilted back;

  • with one hand, the child is covered with the nose, the other is supported on his chin;

  • taking a deep breath, the air slowly exhale into the child's mouth, tightly clasping his lips. A sign of a properly performed exhalation will be the raising of the baby’s chest.


These actions must be repeated until the child can breathe on his own. After providing the necessary assistance and eliminating the causes of heat stroke, it is recommended to observe a non-strict bed rest, which is necessary for the complete recovery of the child’s body, for several days.



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