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What You Should Know About Heatstroke and What to Do About It

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It is almost summertime, and along with summer comes heat. Many people suffer from heat stroke every year, some without even realizing that that is what they have. Get to know some of the important facts you should know about heatstroke as well as what to do if you suspect you or a loved one is afflicted with the condition. Then, you can be sure that you are taking the best possible care of your health and that of your loved ones all summer long.

1. What Is Heatstroke?

Put simply, heatstroke is the extreme overheating of the body. Most of the time, a person will get heatstroke if they are participating in sports or working hard in the heat of summer. However, heatstroke can happen just by being out in extremely hot temperatures for a prolonged time in some people. 

Some people are more prone to heatstroke than others, though there is no rhyme or reason to why some people are more sensitive to heat. Heatstroke is a severe and serious condition and is much worse than simple heat exhaustion. 

2. What Are the Signs of Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a condition when the body's temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As such, a high "fever" or core body temperature is one of the most telltale signs of a heat stroke. However, most people are not out taking their temperature when outside in the summer months. There are other signs to watch out for, though. 

Nausea and vomiting are common signs of heatstroke. If you or a loved one begin to feel nauseated or experience vomiting out in the heat of the day, it is a warning sign that the heat is getting to you (or them). 

A person with heatstroke may also develop flushed skin, though many people become flushed when out in the heat. Additional signs include headaches, a racing heart, trouble breathing or rapid breathing, and an altered mental state. An altered mental state refers to confusion, disorientation, or even slurred speech. The person may seem as though they are drunk even if they have not been consuming alcohol. 

3. What Should You Do About Heatstroke?

The first thing to do if you notice any signs of heatstroke is to get out of the sun and the heat. Get to a cool location as soon as possible. The next step to take is to head to the walk-in urgent care center. Heatstroke is a dangerous condition that can cause severe damage throughout the body if not diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. 

At urgent care, a nurse will take your temperature and assess your symptoms. They may run a series of blood and urine tests as well. Once heatstroke is confirmed, the urgent care doctor will provide treatment to help lower your body temperature. This can include cool misting or immersion in ice water if available. Sometimes, depending on how severe your heatstroke, they may also refer you to the ER. 

For more information on walk-in urgent care, contact services like La Costa Urgent Care.