Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat.

Who's at risk for heat exhaustion?
Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Warning signs of heat exhaustion
The warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke.

Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:
  • Symptoms are severe
  • The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure
Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to do if someone has heat exhaustion
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
  • Drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages
  • Resting
  • Taking a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • Staying in an air-conditioned environment
  • Wearing lightweight clothing


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