There are three types of heat emergencies you may be required to treat. Heat Stroke -
This is the most serious type of heat emergency. It is LIFE-THREATENING and requires IMMEDIATE and AGGRESSIVE treatment!
Heat stroke occurs when the body's heat regulating mechanism fails. The body temperature rises so high that brain damage --and death-- may result unless the body is cooled quickly.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:
The victim's skin is HOT, RED and usually DRY. Pupils are very small. The body temperature is VERY HIGH, sometimes as high as 105 degrees.
Remember, Heat Stroke is a life-threatening emergency and requires prompt action! Summon professional help. Get the victim into a cool place.
COOL THE VICTIM AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE IN ANY MANNER POSSIBLE!
Place the victim into a bathtub of cool water, wrap in wet sheets, place in an air conditioned room.
Do not give victim anything by mouth. Treat for shock.
Heat Exhaustion -
Heat exhaustion is less dangerous than heat stroke. It is caused by fluid loss which in turn causes blood flow to decrease in vital organs, resulting in a form of shock.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
COOL, PALE AND MOIST skin, heavy sweating, dilated pupils (wide), headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Body temperature will be near normal.
Get the victim out of the heat and into a cool place. Place in the shock position, lying on the back with feet raised. Remove or loosen clothing. Cool by fanning or applying cold packs or wet towels or sheets. If conscious, give water to drink every 15 minutes.
IMPORTANT: WHILE HEAT EXHAUSTION IS NOT A LIFE- THREATENING EMERGENCY LIKE HEAT STROKE, IT CAN PROGRESS TO HEAT STROKE IF LEFT UNTREATED!
Heat Cramps -
Heat cramps are muscular pain and spasms due to heavy exertion. They usually involve the abdominal muscles or legs. It is generally thought this condition is caused by loss of water and salt through sweating.
Get victim to a cool place. If they can tolerate it, give one-half glass of water every 15 minutes. Heat cramps can usually be avoided by increasing fluid intake when active in hot weather.