Heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke: Here’s how to know the difference

Local

(NEWS10) — A three day stretch of dangerously hot & humid weather has hit the Capital Region and it is more important now than ever to know the differences between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, two very serious, but different, heat-related illnesses.

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Possible muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

First Aid:

  • Move person to a cooler environment
  • Lay person down and loosen clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible
  • Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
  • Offer sips of water
  • If person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke

Symptoms:

  • Altered mental state
  • One or more of the following symptons: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
  • Body temperature above 103°F
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Faints, loses consciousness

First Aid:

  • Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment.
  • Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath.
  • Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

For more information on heat-related illnesses visit: https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-illness

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