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How to treat heat exhaustion

Published On: Jul 30 2013 11:38:10 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2013 03:05:15 PM CDT
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By Mayo Clinic News Network

Heat exhaustion is one of the heat-related syndromes, which range in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heatstroke.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion often begin suddenly, sometimes after excessive exercise, heavy perspiration, and inadequate fluid or salt intake. Signs and symptoms resemble those of shock and may include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Rapid, weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, moist, pale skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Heat cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine

If you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
  • Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
  • Loosen or remove the person's clothing.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine.
  • Cool the person by spraying or sponging with cool water and fanning.
  • Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke.

Call 911 or emergency medical help if the person's condition deteriorates, especially if fainting, confusion or seizures occur, or if fever of 104 F (40 C) or greater occurs with other symptoms.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-heat-exhaustion/FA00020/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=housecall&pubDate=07/17/2013

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