The Three Stages of a Heat Emergency

The Three Stages of a Heat Emergency

Heat emergencies are defined as the health crises where one gets exposed to heat or the sun. Following are the three stages of heat emergencies:

• Heat cramps
• Heat exhaustion
• Heat stroke

All of these three stages of heat emergencies are considered as a serious issue. If your country has a hot climate or you usually spent your summer time outside playing sports, then you have just reached the right place.

Treating the condition in its early stage will prevent you from getting a heat stroke. A heat stroke may prove to be life-threatening for you or it may cause serious long life complications.

Immediately call 911 or take the patient to an emergency room if any of the heat illnesses is making him unconscious, vomit, or causing him seizures. Read on to know more about a heat emergency.

What are the Known Signs and Symptoms of a Heat Emergency?

heat strokeHeat Cramps

As already mentioned above heat cramps is defined as the first stage of a heat emergency. In most of the cases, one is more likely to have heat cramps when he is physically active in the heat. On the other hand heat cramps can also target the people who are not active in the heat.

Mostly, the cases of heat cramps reported are of elderly or the younger ones. However, it also targets the obese people and those who have been using alcohol. Following are the symptoms of heat cramps:

• Muscle pain
• Muscle tightness

Heat Exhaustion

Here is a rundown of the symptoms associated with a heat exhaustion.

• A headache
• Muscle cramps
• Pale skin
• Mild confusion
• vomiting
• Fainting
• Dizziness
• Extreme thirst
• The rate of heart beating or breathing increases
• Heavy sweating
• Irritability
• Nausea

Heat Stroke

Following are the symptoms of a heat stroke:

• A headache
• Rapid but shallow breathing
• confusion
• Muscle cramps
• Dry skin
• Rapid but a weak pulse
• Pale skin
• Mild confusion
• Vomiting
• Loss of consciousness
• Fainting
• seizures
• Dizziness
• Extreme thirst
• Body temperature increases above or to 104 Fahrenheit
• The rate of heart beating or breathing increases
• Irrational behavior or the hallucinations
• Irritability
• Nausea

A person having a heat stroke may also experience heavy sweating as well as a dry skin due to dehydration.

What are the Causes of Heat Emergencies?

exercise in summerMost of the heat emergencies occur when one exercises excessively in the heat for a longer period of time. Another cause of heat emergency is being trapped in an area which gets hot quickly, for example, a car. Heat emergencies usually target:

• Children
• People who have recently used an alcohol
• Elder people
• obese

Due to difficulty in maintaining the internal body temperature these people are at a higher risk of getting a heat emergency.

Elderly and Heat Emergencies

During the summertime, the elder people who are living on their own are one of the most targeted people of a heat emergency.

According to a study in 1995, there were 739 deaths in Chicago due to a heat emergency. It showed that the elder people living on their own who had developed a strong bond with their family and friends were more likely to fight against these fatal heat emergencies.

RELATED: First Aid – The Most Efficient Way to Save a Life

If you are living in a hotter area, make sure to keep a check on older adults and help them in time of their need.

Children and Heat Emergencies

Children playing in a hot weather mainly gets target by these heat illnesses. In most of the cases, the children are so lost in playing that they do not recognize the signs and symptoms of a heat emergency.

To protect your child it is mandatory that one should check his child frequently and make him drink a lot of water. Drinking plenty of water is considered one of the best steps to avoid a heat emergency as it prevents one from getting dehydrated plus also helps to regulate the body temperature.

This can prove to be life-threatening for those children who are left in vehicles like cars or school buses. Try your level best that you do not leave your child alone in a vehicle even if you do not consider the temperature to be too hot.

How to Treat Heat Emergencies?

Drink plenty of WaterOne can help himself or the other person having a heat emergency especially in the first two stages- heat cramping and heat exhaustion. Try to remember the following three important points:

1. If one is experiencing seizures, vomiting or feeling unconscious, he must be quickly admitted to an emergency room. Another option is to call 911.
2. If the person is vomiting or feeling unconscious, do not give him anything to drink.
3. Drinks containing alcohol or caffeine should be avoided during a heat emergency.

Heat Cramps

If in case one is getting heat cramps he should:

• Stretch his muscles lightly
• Drink cold water and the sports drinks after every 15 minutes
• Move himself to a cooler place
• Massage the cramping point gently

Heat Exhaustion

To treat the heat exhaustion one should follow these points:

• Moving to a cooler area
• Try to lose your clothing if it is tight
• Do not drink water quickly
• Drink cold water and the sports drinks after every 15 minutes
• Make someone put wet and cool towels on your face, chest, limbs, and neck.
• Fan off your skin or take help of someone

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can be fatal, so immediately call 911 or admit your patient to an emergency room. Until someone is there for your help you can:

• Try to lose your clothing if it is tight
• Remove any clothing which is drenched in sweat
• Fan off your skin or take help of someone
• Drink cold water and the sports drinks after every 15 minutes

RELATED: The Symptoms of Heatstroke – How to Protect Yourself During a Heat Wave

• Make someone put wet and cool towels on your face, chest, limbs, and neck.
• Apply ice cubes to underarms, wrists, and groin to lower your body temperature
• Move to a cooler area

What are the Possible Complications of a Heat Stroke?

In most of the cases, people recover from their heat illness in a few days. However, a heat stroke can cause swelling in the brain or in the other vital organs causing a permanent damage.

How to Prevent a Heat Emergency?

The best way to prevent a heat emergency is to stay in cooler and shady areas. Try to make use of air conditioners in the summertime. If one needs to go outside in a hot weather, he should:

• Drink plenty of water
• Wear loose fitted and light-hued clothing
• Not drink alcohol

In order to prevent a heat emergency make sure that you are frequently checking on your elder adults and children in the summertime.

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