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Heat Stroke
With summer temperatures climbing, it is important to know the signs of heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke and how they affect your body.
 
What is Heat Stroke? 
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines heat stress as the body becoming unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down, similar to a circuit board overheating.
Some common signs of overheating that can lead to heat stroke are: 
excessive sweating,
hallucinations
chills
cramps
headache
fever
disorientation

How do I treat Heat Exhaustion, Heat Rash, or Overheating? 
Move the individual to a cooler area and begin to cool their body by spraying water on them or fanning them. Then, hydrate using juice or sports drinks, and if the symptoms digress, seek medical attention through Catholic Medical Center’s Urgent Care Center.

If someone is experiencing heat stroke symptoms of fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, vomiting, and shortness of breath, call 911, move them to a shaded or cooler area, and begin to fan or cool the body with water.
What is the difference between heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat rash on a continuum?
heat stroke: becoming unconscious or having a high fever (104+) due to overheating
heat exhaustion: illness caused by overheating resulting in serious headache and fatigue
heat rash: limited to one part of the body where sweat ducts underperform
heat stress: illness associated with the entire body becoming overheated

How Do I Prevent Heat Stroke?
Preventing all forms of heat stress is easy by planning ahead. Take these precautions to prevent overheating:
wear light clothing that is breathable
warm up prior to intense activity
schedule heavy work for cooler times of the day
schedule breaks throughout physical activity and sun exposure
drink water often (approximately 1 cup per 15 minutes)
avoid alcohol, sugar and caffeine
monitor your condition as well as those around you

Where does overheating and heat exhaustion occur? 
Heat stress can occur more frequently in work environments where people are exposed to heat such as firefighters, or landscapers. Although no one is immune to heat stress, certain groups are more susceptible to suffering from heat stress. These groups include but are not limited to: 
children
elders over 65
those who are overweight
those who have high blood pressure
those who have heart disease. 

Urgent Care
Bedford Medical Park 5 Washington Place Suite 1B Bedford NH 03110
Open 7 days (open late Mon-Fri) 603.314.4567 check-in online: cmc-urgentcare.org



References:
-HEAT STRESS. (2014, June 24). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/ 
-Heat Illness: MedlinePlus. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/heatillness.html 
-The Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.childrenscolorado.org/wellness-safety/parent-resources/seasonal-parent-tips/heat-exhaustion-or-heatstrok

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