First Aid for Heat Stroke

In hot weather, a person’s sweat cools his body.  In the absence of this natural mechanism, the person’s body temperature would have raised the body’s heat to dangerous levels.  This could cause a heat stroke which can be life threatening.  One should therefore acquaint oneself with the causes and symptoms as well as the procedure of providing first aid for heat stroke.

Small children, elderly people and people undertaking physical exertion in the sun are most susceptible to heat strokes.

Causes of Heat Stroke

As mentioned earlier, the human body produces a lot of heat and sweating helps the body to cool.  But it may so happen that this cooling system fails when the weather is very hot or a person is doing a lot of physical activity in the sun.  So the heat within the body keeps on increasing but due to dehydration or lack of water within the body, no sweat is produced.  Such a condition may lead to a heat stroke.

First aid for Heat Stroke

Heat stroke could cause a person’s death and administering first aid is vital.

  • The person affected by heat stroke should be first taken indoors if he is out in the sun.
  • His clothes should be removed or loosened up and water should be applied to the skin. The person should be lied down in an airy place to bring down the body temperature. These actions will produce the same effect as sweating.
  • The area of the armpits and the groin will produce even more heat than the other areas.  So ice packs should be applied to these regions.
  • When providing first aid for heat stroke, the victim should be made to lie down with his legs elevated.
  • Water mixed with salt or a sports drink should be given to replenish the fluid and salt content of the body.

Measures to Prevent Heat Stroke

Though the condition of heat stroke is dangerous, it can be prevented easily by taking a few simple precautions.

  • People who indulge in outdoor activities in extremely hot weather conditions should drink plenty of water.
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea should be avoided as they intend to dehydrate the body.
  • Activities requiring great physical exertion should be reserved for that time of the day when it is cool.

One should however remember that first aid for heat stroke is only a temporary measure and the condition demands immediate medical attention.

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