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What Are the Risks of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion?

Are you hot enough where you live?

At least around the United States, you might be getting some pretty high temperatures…

And if the temperatures don't look high, I know the "feels like" makes a big difference…like sometimes  8 – 10 degree difference!

That darn humidity!

How does that affect your health?


Besides the feeling constantly sweaty, and maybe worrying about your electric bill, there are other things to watch out for.
You may think that you are healthy and don't need to watch out for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

That's what I thought!

Last Monday, it was a really hot day where I live. I thought I'm used to it…just get through it!

I was working in my bedroom, and when I walked into my living room it was so much cooler…so I took the living room's temperature!

Yea…I like to track things!

It was 12 degrees hotter in my bedroom - 94˚!

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Symptoms and Treatments

No problem, right…lived through 94 with no issues.

I'm even one to carefully track how much water I drink each day…because it's so easy to forget. If I write it down, I can see…

WOW! I only had 3 glasses today! (Not enough, especially considering what was about to happen!)

Well, it's monsoon season here in July in Arizona…so right around 7:00, all of a sudden everything shuts off…

No electric!

SRP, our electric company said will be fixed by 9:15.

The time came and went.

Finally, around 9:50, electricity was restored.

Time for dinner!

So I start heating up the stove…

That one act…of adding just a tad more heat made the difference.

All of a sudden, things were moving around me…and I had to sit down before I collapsed!

I thought I could handle it….but apparently not!

So please… pay attention and take precautions!

 Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headache
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Excessive thirst

Heat Exhaustion Treatment

  • Hydrate with water or sports drinks if fully conscious. No alcohol
  • Move to a cooler, air-conditioned place
  • Lie down
  • Take a cool shower or use cold compresses
  • If still vomiting, call for medical help
  • Remove tight-fitting clothing or layers.
  • Not taking care of heat exhaustion soon enough can lead to heat stroke

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Symptoms and Treatments

Heat Stroke Symptoms

  • Confusion or delirium
  • May lose consciousness
  • No sweating / dry skin
  • Hot, red skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Body temperature above  104ยบ
  • Treatment for stroke and heat exhaustion differs as well as the symptoms.

Heat Stroke Treatment

  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Use cold compresses to reduce body temperature
  • Do NOT give fluids
  • The reason you need to take heat stroke so seriously is that it can cause damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, muscles and nervous system.
  • Main reason to take heat stroke seriously…It can lead to death if emergency treatment is not given.

If you take heart medications, and/or are over 50, you need to be more aware and take precautions.


Some of those medications deplete the body of sodium.

Sodium & potassium are important because they balance out the fluid in your body.

When you sweat during hot days, your sweat pulls some of the sodium and potassium out of your body…

So you need to replace it.

My Co-worker's Experience with Heat Stroke

The summer after I started working at the police department, I remember the air conditioning went out.

A few hours into our shift, one woman started having problems. I don't remember the exact details, but she was sitting at her desk, was extremely hot, was sick, and the whole nine yards.

It was kind of odd, calling 911 to have the EMTs come to the police department! 

She had to be off work for quite a while, and had repercussions from that one episode for at least a couple months if I remember correctly!

Heat stroke is nothing to fool around with!

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