Heat Stroke / Exhaustion

Emergencies & Injuries

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that strikes when your body’s cooling mechanism fails. Signs of heat stroke include a very high body temperature; hot, dry skin; the absence of sweating, and confusion or loss of consciousness.

Heat exhaustion is characterized by fatigue; light-headedness; nausea or vomiting; headache; and cool, clammy, pale skin. It is the result of fluid and body-salt losses that may occur when you are working or exercising in hot weather.

PREVENTION

  • Be aware of signs of heat illness.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor physical activity during the hottest part of the day, especially if you are still getting into shape.
  • Be especially cautious in conditions of very high or low humidity when sweating may be more intense and/or less noticeable.
  • Be attentive to hydration before, during, and after exposure to hot or dry weather.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing when spending a prolonged time in the sun or heat.

TREATMENT

Home care    Home Care

At the first signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Notify an Athletic Trainer or coach if readily available.
  • Move to a cool, shaded area, loosen your clothing, and sponge your face and neck with cool water. Make sure someone nearby knows you aren’t feeling well.
  • Drink cool water or sports drinks in large quantities, a little at a time.

Professional care   Professional Care

Call 911 or seek emergency care for any signs or symptoms of heat stroke.