According to WebMD, heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, usually in combination with dehydration, which prevents the body from controlling its core temperature.
People suffering from heat-related illnesses can often become disoriented and experience hallucinations, seizures and lose consciousness. In very extreme cases, their organs may begin to shut down.
Symptoms of heat stroke or other related problems include a throbbing headache, dizziness, muscle weakness or cramps, rapid, shallow breathing, red, hot and dry skin.
Whitfield recommends people stay out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and get inside to a cool place, if possible.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 or take the person to the hospital. While waiting for emergency personnel, move the person to an air-conditioned space or at least a shaded area and remove any unnecessary clothing. You also may fan the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose, apply ice packs to the person’s armpits, groin, neck and back or immerse the person in a shower or tub of cool water, or an ice bath. Don’t hesitate to call 911 for further instructions if there is any delay in emergency response.
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