Heatstroke is caused by failure of the body’s temperature control system when exposed to excessively high temperatures. Typical symptoms include a headache, nausea, dizziness and confusion. Depending on the extent of the damage, the consequences can be life-threatening. Drinking enough and taking breaks to cool off reduce the risk of heatstroke.
Causes and treatment
The following can cause the body to overheat:
- Hot weather (in particular in combination with high humidity)
- Sauna that is too hot
- Uncontrollably high fever
- Dehydration of body owing to water loss (leading to inability to sweat)
- Effects of medication or drugs
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- Careful investigation of the body’s functions, in particular the cardiovascular system
- Pulse, blood pressure, temperature, breathing, oxygen saturation, etc.
- Intravenous fluid replacement
- Medical observation until the symptoms improve
What can I do myself?
- Wear the appropriate clothes for the temperature (in particular headcover)
- Take regular breaks
- Drink enough
Measures while waiting for the doctor
- Put the patient in a bath filled with cool tap water, if possible
- If not, wrap them in wet cloths
- Fan them, switch on a cooling fan
In the case of children, the cooling process should be applied slowly and with great care.
When to see a doctor?
The emergency medical services or a doctor should always be called if heatstroke is suspected or confirmed.
sunstroke, heat exhaustion, fever