Do Something to Revive Heatstroke Victims

n.c.radomesStarred Page By n.c.radomes, 6th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>First Aid

Here are first aid tips to apply to a victim of heatstroke in the event a case suddenly unfolds in your presence. It's fine if you're already well-versed in the procedure, if not, we can only imagine the chaos and confusion that will befall on you given the situation. So imbibe the following information for your advantage and for the patients that you may helped as well.


Take the following steps:

  1. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you see somebody with heat stroke call for an ambulance straight away.
  2. While you are waiting for the paramedics to come: Move the patient to a cool place, preferably air-conditioned. If one is not available, go to a shady area.
  3. Make sure the place is ventilated. Use a fan or open the windows (don't open windows if it is air-conditioned).
  4. Try to get them to drink water.
  5. Do not give any painkilling medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tylenol).
  6. If you can, place them in a cool (not cold) shower.
  7. If there is one, partly fill a bathtub with cool (not cold) water, sit the person in there and hydrate their skin. Do not fully immerse the person in the water until the paramedics arrive.
  8. To encourage blood circulation, gently massage their skin.
  9. If the person has a seizure, do not place anything in their mouth. Move nearby objects out of the way.
  10. If they are unconscious, place them in the recovery position. If they have vomited, make sure there is no blockage that may affect breathing.
  11. Hospitalization. When the patient arrives in hospital, the medical team's priority is to get the core temperature down as rapidly as possible. There are two options - internal and external cooling methods.

External Cooling Methods


  1. Ice bath - the bath is filled with ice and water and the patient is immersed in it.
  2. Cooling blankets and ice - the patient in wrapped in cooling blankets and ice packs are placed under the arms, around the head and neck, and in the groin.
  3. Evaporation cooling - the patient's body is sprayed with a mist of cool water. A fan creates a warm breeze which speeds up evaporation, and thereby heat loss. According to the journal American Family Physician, "Cooling rates with this technique have been measured at 0.31°C (0.56°F) per minute."

Disadvantages of ice baths or cooling blankets with ice packs include the occurrence of peripheral vasoconstriction and shivering. With these two methods it is also harder to access the patient if he or she experiences cardiac arrest or bradycardia (very slow heart beat).

Internal Cooling Methods

Internal cooling methods. Internal cooling methods can bring the patient's core temperature down more rapidly. Examples include:

  1. Gastric, bladder and rectal cold-water lavage - these can be done with minimal invasion.
  2. Peritoneal and thoracic lavage - these are only considered in very extreme cases.
  3. Cardiopulmonary bypass - an extremely rare but effective cooling method.

Causes of Heat Stroke

When the body is unable to cool itself and it begins to overheat, heat stroke is a likely complication.
The human body controls its body temperature by maintaining a tight balance between heat gain and heat loss. The normal normal body temperature ranges between 36.5°C and 37.5°C (97.7°F and 99.5°F). The hypothalamus, a part of the brain, regulates our body temperature. The hypothalamus is sometimes called the body's thermostat.

How our bodies maintain temperature control (Thermoregulation)

Our bodies have several ways of maintaining temperature control (thermoregulation). The human body can be cooled down in the following ways::

  • Radiation - is letting or transferring heat from our body to the surroundings which must be cooler in temperature than our body. If objects like ceilings, walls, and furnishings are warmer than our body, heat will travel toward us. Ventilate to remove or reduce heat in the objects around us, and when the surroundings becomes cooler, the more you will radiate heat to the objects, rather than the other way around.
  • Convection - occurs when heat is carried away from your body via moving air. If the surrounding air is cooler than your skin, the air will absorb your heat and rise. As the warmed air rises around you, cooler air moves in to take its place and absorb more of your warmth. The faster this convecting air moves, the cooler you feel.
  • Conduction - an object that is at a lower temperatures than our body temperature comes into direct contact with our skin, it draws out heat from our body.
  • Evaporation - our bodies produce sweat, as the sweat evaporates it takes body heat with it.
  • Sweating. The normal temperature of the skin is 32°C -34°C (89.6°F -93.2°F). Any outside temperature above those ranges will result in the skin producing more sweat to cool the body down


Basic Information

Heat stroke is a serious medical condition when the body's temperature rises too high as a result of excessive heat exposure. The body loses its ability to cool itself and overheats.
When a person's body temperature is greater than 40.6°C (105.1°F) caused by environmental heat exposure with poor temperature control heat stroke may occur.
Heat stroke isn’t a fever, where the body deliberately raises its temperature in response to, for example, an infection.
There are 3 levels of heat emergencies - heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with heat stroke being the most severe and life-threatening.

Signs and Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • A high temperature - The National Library of Medicine, USA, and the National Health Service, UK, say any temperature higher than 104°F (40°C).
  • Profuse sweating that abruptly stops - when the body cannot sweat any more, as may happen in cases of severe dehydration, the skin will become dry. Without perspiration the body has no way of cooling itself.
  • Weak heartbeat.
  • Hyperventilation - rapid breathing, shallow panting.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • The skin becomes hot, dry and red.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dark urine

As the nervous system becomes affected, the following symptoms may appear:{list]

  • Confusion
  • Coordination problems
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Headache
  • Vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness - a sensation of spinning or moving when standing (vertigo)
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Irrational behavior
  • Loss of consciousness.

  • Ref.:


    • A woman placed in the recovery position/ What is heat stroke or sunstroke? Medical News Today /
    • Wim Hof in Ice Bath in 2007/ "Wim Hof" from OudBeijerland, Netherlands, by Aad Villerius,, Photographer in action. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
    • Colonic lavage tube, developed by BioPreservation, accelerates the rate of cooling by allowing a cold solution to be administered directly to the patient's .../
    • Competing in the heat can take its toll, and heat related illnesses are very common (Dr. Stoddard's note - I have lost count of the many individuals I have .../
    • How human body maintains or controls body temperature /
    • In 2014, 30 children in the U.S. died from heatstroke after being left in a hot car. The year 2010 saw the most loss of young life with 49 deaths blamed on .../

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    author avatar Retired
    7th May 2015 (#)

    Heatstroke is fatal. The best solution is stay indoors but then we've to venture out to make ends meet. And therein, your info will come really handy. Superb post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar Retired
    7th May 2015 (#)

    That was a very interesting and informative article to read. Thankyou! And well done on being author of the day. =)

    Reply to this comment

    author avatar n.c.radomes
    13th May 2015 (#)

    STEVE, thank you.
    JOYESH, I appreciate your comment. It surely adds meat to the article.
    COFFEEQUEEN, thank you for the visit, praise and overall comments.

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    author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
    1st Jun 2015 (#)

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting post Pare, Salamat!

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